Finding Safe Pasture

Making Room For God

Reflection on John 10:1-21.

Jesus tells us in the story of the Good Shepherd in these verses of John. He tells us He will lead all sheep, not just the ones that are in His Sheepfold (his fenced in area) but the “other” ones too. All of these sheep will make one flock; the flock of Jesus. (John 10:1-21).

Jesus goes on to say, “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” He is speaking of his death and resurrection here. Only God has the authority to kill Jesus and raise Him from the dead. God is the one that commands the death of Jesus in order to save us from sin and death. God is in ultimate control of everything.

I was stuck on the statement, “For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again.”

God has offered us all free will to choose our paths. We can choose our own route or we can choose God’s path. I, personally struggle with choosing the path that satisfies me. It is that selfish human characteristic that allows me to believe that I am more important that God. I tend to justify my choices and make myself believe that my way is the right way (just so you know – it isn’t).

“For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again.”

I love to think I am in charge and in a way I do get to choose my path, but God is in charge of my eternal salvation. There is no doubt in my mind about that. God gets to choose if I have lived a life that is worthy of heaven. He outlines perfectly in the bible what needs to be done, yet I still struggle with following through.

“For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again.”

I am the lost sheep. I am the “other” sheep. I am the one that is listening to all the “noise” of society instead of listening to my Shepherd. I am the one that is out of the sheepfold.

“For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again.”

Listening to Jesus’ voice is hard through all the noise of the people around me. Finding Jesus amongst the crowd is sometimes a struggle because there are so many people blocking the path to Him. I want to make it into his fence, but I cannot seem to find the way. Wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing barricade the way. I close my eyes and pray for Jesus to lead me there.

“For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again.”

Jesus pushes the wolves aside when I call out for Him. He clears the path because I have bleated for help. He hears me through the noise. I have shown courage and perseverance to get passed the wolves and Jesus has immediately come to help.

“For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again.”

Jesus ultimately has the ability to help all of us out of situations that we desperately want out of. He will come to our aid if we call out to Him. He doesn’t care what we have done, what group we have associated with or how bad our choices have been. He only wants to lead us into his sheepfold for safety.

“For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again.”

I thought specifically of yesterday – Mother’s Day.  At church I saw so many tired and exhausted mothers.  Of course there were joyful ones too, but the sad ones got my attention.  Some had lost mothers way too soon.  Some were moms struggling to get by day to day, and the thought of celebrating motherhood was exhausting to them.   A few were taking children in and out of church because their toddlers were ready to be done with this church thing.  I could feel their frustration.  I could feel their sadness.  I could feel their bitterness of the hand that God had dealt them.  So that quote really stuck with me today.  It stuck with me because, after witnessing those moms yesterday, I realized that God is in control.  God is the one and only who can help us out of hopeless day to day struggles.  God is the one that can help us past the pride, bitterness and frustrations of life.  He has the ultimate authority to do so, but He won’t unless we ask for help.  We have to cry out to Him, relinquish our pride and ask for help persevering through life.

“For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again.”

We all have a choice.  We can give in to our emotions or we can cry out for God to help.  We can allow the noise of our emotions, of society and of evil to block our route to the Good Shepherd.  Ultimately though, all we have to do is call out to Him and He will lead us back to His sheepfold.

If you were given a choice between living in a safe pasture or being barricaded by wolves on a path to no where – which would you choose? Isn’t it obvious?

 

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About aslamkowski

Blogger, Speaker and Author of "Revealing Faith: Learning to Place God First in Your Life" Most importantly, desperately wanting to hear and follow God's Will, wife of Peter and mother of three kids.
This entry was posted in Faith, Family, God, Jesus, Religion, Social Justice, Uncategorized, Women and Christianity and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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