Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 33

What do you think it means for Jesus to shepherd us? Prior to this journey, I probably thought the most obvious - that He guides and directs us. He protects us.

But I think there is more to it. I started reading Margaret Feinberg's "Scouting the Divine" today. The first chapter is about The Good Shepherd.

I am not even through the first chapter and I am trying to read it slow and not rush through it as there is so much to ponder and explore. Let me share a few of those things that are standing out to me today.

This quote really hit home with me today. Margaret said, "I recognized the boundaries as essential to the sheep's survival - and our own. From a sheep's perspective, fences prevent the animal from enjoying greener grass, but from the shepherd's perspective, the boundaries ensure the sheep stay safe and doesn't eat something dangerous or get eaten."

I am literally able to translate that idea into my own walk with Christ. I literally have pushed at the fences in my own life. I pushed down boundaries put in place to protect me. I felt hemmed in. Yet once I got to the other side of the fence and enjoyed what I thought was being kept from, I realized it was somewhat of a mirage. The grass (temptations) weren't as green or as pleasurable as I thought they'd be. They often gave me a tummy ache (HUGE consequences) and I often got attacked by the enemy. Sometimes I felt God found me barely alive when He rescued me.

I have often been that one sheep that God ran out searching for. He always came for me. He always held me and nurtured me back to spiritual and emotional health. And along the way I finally realized that if I embraced the fences, life would be so much better.

In John 10:9 it says: I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.

I looked up pasture in the Strong's Concordance and found out that in the original Greek pasture means: food, that we would not want the needful supplies for the true life and then the final entry meaning growth and increase.

God is literally my protector and provider. Everything I need is within the boundaries that God has set for me. The consequences of being outside the fence of God's divine love and protection can be huge. They can bring spiritual, emotional and even spiritual death.

Then I look at the word gate, basically it means a door. Jesus is that door. He is an open door to the Kingdom of Heaven and He is a shut door to keep out the enemy that tries to kill, steal and destroy us. He is securing us.

This is easily understood when I think of my daughter Salem. She is a very sweet child and very obedient for the most part. But something major happened yesterday that completely brings home what God is showing me here. Yesterday Salem was playing in the backyard. The gate was unlocked (that has been rectified by the way). She came in and told me straight away that she went outside the gate by the street to talk to a little boy who was looking for a lost cat.

I was devastated. "Oh baby I cried. Do you realize what could have happened to you outside that fence?" As soon as I said this, she dissolved into tears and ran into my arms. I held her and comforted her and then we talked about the dangers that are outside of the fence. I told her that if she had questions or saw something outside the fence to come get mommy or daddy and help her. I was fairly straight forward about the dangers outside the fence and what could happen. Then I held her and comforted her some more.

Then today I read this chapter in Scouting the Divine. It hit me hard. I remembered how often I had strayed outside the fence - sometimes to help someone. Sometimes because I wanted to experience something I thought I was missing out on. But mostly it was just direct disobedience, because I thought I could handle whatever was outside that fence. Eventually I ran back into the arms of the Father. He held me and comforted me, but was stern. He swiftly let me know that life outside that fence - His protection - was dangerous and that I needed to follow His will and the boundaries He placed in my life. They are there for a reason.

Today's Reflection: Lord thank you for my sweet Salem and using her experience to give me complete understanding to why the boundaries in my life are necessary. Nothing outside that fence is worth the danger to my spirit or my life. Your are my all in all. Your are my protector. You are my provider. Thank you Lord for bringing this point home to me today.


Kathleen Summers November 3, 2009 at 7:28 AM  

Our God is good! What a journaey and I especially appreciate Day 29. Thanks for this wonderful blog!

The Boyd Gang November 3, 2009 at 7:47 PM  

WOW!!! I am so glad that you shared your heart about this tonight. I have a friend that is really struggling with the "restrictions", as she puts it, that she feels God places in her life. This is a wonderful example of how God is protecting us not limiting us. Thank you again for allowing Christ to shine in your life. He is my strength when I am weak, He is the treasure that I seek, He is my all in all!

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