If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish. -Matthew 18:12-14 NLT
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honour to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. -Psalm 23:1-4 NLT
Shepherds care for their sheep. They keep a vigilant watch out for them keeping them safe from harm. But sheep can be dumb, they can wander away from the comforts of the fold and end up lost. The sheep could fall off a cliff, get tangled in brambles or get wounded. The shepherd easily realises that one of his sheep are missing and he goes to look for it. He will do anything to make sure the missing sheep is found and brought back to safety.
There have been times that we too have wandered off from the safety of the green meadows, peaceful streams and comfort of the presence of God. We try to do things our own way. We begin to find ourselves overwhelmed with life and many times cry out as to why we got ourselves in that situation. Jesus knows. He goes to great lengths to call us back home to His protection and care. He welcomes us with open arms.
Maybe today you know of someone you love who is far from the Lord. It could be one of your children, a spouse, a friend, a parent or a colleague. The pain of knowing that they don’t know the Lord or that they ran away from Him going their own separate way tears at your heart. Some of you may have sleepless nights worrying about them. You have prayed for them so often but it seems to no avail. Don’t give up praying for them. Don’t give up showing them God’s love. Keep in mind that Jesus is the Good Shepherd and He cares about them too. His heart breaks with yours. He knows your pain and He hears your cries. You don’t have to bear this on your own, let Jesus carry the burden. Jesus came to seek out the lost and save them. They too can come to the safety of the green pastures and quiet waters.
Be encouraged – Jesus who sought you and still seeks your heart, cares about those you love too. Rejoice in the Good Shepherd today and give Him thanks for reaching out to you and to others.
For further study:
Isaiah 40:10-11; Ezekiel 34:1-31: John 10:27