|"Though I am weak at times, though I speak ill, they run after me, in faithful pursuit, their goodness and mercy desperate for my salvation."|
THERE IS BUT ONE VOICE I HEAR. The Shepherd. And whenever I hear it my heart leaps. Strong yet gentle, He bids me comfort, to settle at His feet and abide. There is but one heartbeat in my senses, that of the Father. The gentle rhythm lulls me. Lifts me. For I know He is steady, faithful, and sure. His love for me is matchless and uncontainable. There is but one strength that rises within me, one wisdom which guides me, that of the Spirit. There, by the stream that is His, I put down roots, and stretch toward the sky.
There is but one God, living and active. One God in three persons, whose care of me is beyond comprehension. Despite my flaws and foibles, my piles of mistakes, though I am weak at times, though I speak ill, they run after me, in faithful pursuit, their goodness and mercy desperate for my salvation, hungry for my voice, my laughter.
The Good Shepherd seeks out the one lost sheep. You. Me. The Father sends Him in the power of His Holy Presence desiring to find us, and having found where we’ve fallen, they rescue, they bind up our wounds, pouring in the oil and the wine, and carry us, beloved, home for a celebration.
We are one lost sheep to others; we are most valuable to them. One cherished sheep restored into a bountiful fold, in a green pasture where there will never be any lack, never be an animal neglected, its peace of mind stolen. We are many sheep bought with most precious blood and placed on righteous paths, the love of God poured into our souls, so deep and wide and expansive that even though there might be shadows around us, all we see is the hem of the Shepherd’s long robe. We follow His gentle voice as He walks daily, minute-by-minute with us toward the valley’s bright end.
Here He’s set a banquet, one which overflows. More than enough provision for any who would come, though lame or blind or faltering. He bids the weak to rest. And there, more than fed, abundantly treasured, His anointing flows over us. We are all blessed in that moment. No one left hungry. No one neglected. No one left out. But enfolded in His refuge, His presence covering us, our lives are satisfied by Him, filled with Him, held by Him close.
I was lost with no place to stand. I have been found and carried safe to a wide-open pasture. Not because of anything that I have done. There is no self-effort that could have saved me. But I sit here, leaned upon His breast, because He looked for me. Gave His all for me without one regret. Not the lack of a throne, nor the mockery of men, nor the filthiness of the water. Though He had streets of gold, He drank from a bitter cup, and this blessing I now have within is the result.
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us!” (Rom 8:35-37 NET)
Photo by Finding Dan | Dan Grinwis on Unsplash.
Suzanne D. Williams, Author