Weather Report From Heaven: Sunny and bright, with an abundance of light and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture- “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”- John 10:11
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”- John 10:14-15
Insight: Sheep are pretty dumb animals. They have no ability to defend themselves and they are prone to wander off and get themselves in all kinds of trouble. If left to their own devices, they would even wander right off a cliff and kill themselves.The Shepherd knows this about his flock, so he spends inordinate amounts of time with his flock, getting to know them, and learning how to protect them from calamity. He is responsible for their every need. He feeds them, guides them, leads them to higher ground and keeps them away from trouble. At night, he stands guard over them and watches for predators who would do them harm. The Sheep are totally dependent on the Shepherd for their survival. Apart from him, they would surely perish.
It struck me one day how much us humans are like Sheep and how much we need a Good Shepherd to protect us, mostly from ourselves! Left to our own devices, we also are likely to cause great harm. We lack the wisdom necessary to see all the crags and other threats that lie ahead. I have learned over time that it is good to be a sheep in the flock of Jesus. He is the only One who can truly guard us, and He is the only one who truly knows us. Like any Shepherd, Jesus imbeds himself in our life and He gets to know us more intimately than we even know ourselves. He knows exactly what we need, when we need it and how to best deliver it to us. He protects us and leads us away from danger, because like any Sheep, we are prone to wander and go astray. I need a Good Shepherd and luckily I have Him in Jesus Christ. Christ calls us close to Him so He can protect, guide and lead us to higher ground. He knows where the pitfalls and dangers are well before we do. He has a lot more experience in dealing with His sheep and has seen the same mistakes play out repeatedly over thousands of years.
I have heard it said that real wisdom is the ability to keep ourselves out of situations that require it. I would mostly agree with that. The problem is that before I knew Christ I lacked the tools necessary to implement that plan. As much as I tried, I just couldn’t conquer my own pains, disappointments, rejections, and scars and so I would make poor decisions to try and run from the pains of life. But then Christ came along, and as my Good Shepherd, He keeps me out of the situations I used to fall into. He redeems my failures, he restores my hope, and he turns my scars into stories that can help others. He leads me on the best path, not the path that may look the best. When I admit I need a Good Shepherd then He assumes responsibility for keeping me on the right path. Consider the words from Psalm 139:1-6“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” Yes, the Good Shepherd knows His sheep better than we even know ourselves. Letting Him guide me is the wisest decision I could ever make.