Saturday, July 14, 2012

follow His lead

hi, sweet friends!

i told myself i wouldn't go very long without writing to you again...and just look at what ive done! maybe i should stop setting unachievable goals. hm.

anywho! i wasn't planning on popping in tonight, but after reading a friend's blogpost that really inspired me, i decided to share my thoughts.

long story short-- he went hiking up a mountain with some friends this morning to reach a metal cross in the middle of a bunch of trees that they had seen from the road. they hiked up the back side of the cross, got scraped up, and met yucky spiders along the way. when they finally got there, the view was beautiful; but they realized that there was already a path cut out to get to the cross that they hadn't seen at the beginning. he wrote that the path already cut out was still very rocky and steep (so, not easy to climb), but still not infested with spiders' webs and trees everywhere.

i just thought, wow.
for starters, so many times i don't see the path already cut out for me that leads me to the place God wants me.
second, who said the path He cut out would be easy? yes, easier than the paths we choose for ourselves, but still not easy. they're rocky, steep, and "going against the grain" of the world, so to speak. i'm convinced that nothing is easy in this world....ever heard of sin?

i'm learning that right now-- life's not easy.
but that doesn't mean im not where God wants me to be.

and the blessed assurance i can cling to when i know that i am on the path God has marked for me is the fact that the path im on will ALWAYS lead me to the cross, the place God is getting me to.

my prayer right now for myself and my family is simply that we'll follow His lead. I'm asking that no matter how distracted or worried i get, He will, in His power, go past it and show me the way he has for me in a way that i'll understand.

i have this (stupid) fear that at some point God will speak and i'll miss it. unless i really watch myself, i'll live with a sickening anxiousness, like living on the edge of my seat, and read way too much into people, situations, and anything, really, thinking that God is saying something and i'm just too dumb to understand or even hear Him.

but i have this picture in my head:
A shepherd is watching over and leading his sheep. He walks beside them, sings to them, talks to them, knows each of their tendencies, anticipates their needs, and works to do whatever he can to keep them safe.
One sheep bends down to eat some grass (or whatever it is that sheep eat), but it's not eating time yet. So, the shepherd gets the sheep's attention, calls him over, and puts his attention on something else.
Another sheep is adventurous and tries wandering toward a pretty little brook with reeds growing along the side of it. The shepherd knows that there are snakes in that brook, so he uses his shepherds' staff to gently pull the sheep back into the flock, to protect him from possible harm.
Still another sheep is at the top of a hill, about to head down the opposite side, out of the shepherd's sight. The other side is really rocky, and the valley below is known for being home to unfriendly lions and other vicious creatures that think sheep are tasty. This is real danger. The shepherd drops his staff, takes off running up the hill, and grabs the sheep's shoulders. He physically leads him back down the hill, the way they came. Once they're safe, he strokes the sheep, explains what the danger was, and reminds him that it's better to stay with the other sheep, and especially the shepherd.

None of those sheep were expecting danger; they weren't even trying to do wrong. But the shepherd knew. And the Shepherd didn't just let them get hurt because they weren't paying attention. I wouldn't call that love.
Love is going after the totally oblivious sheep who wants to do right in his heart, but still fails at every attempt.

I'm a sheep. Jesus is my shepherd; He even says that.

Jesus said that he created the lilies i admire in the springtime. he designed them to grow perfectly in a certain climate, in a certain terrain. he fashioned them to work in harmony with the bumble bees, so there would be flowers in many places, and not just one. he dressed them in colors and textures that no artist or writer can dare to replicate with words or paint. he took his time with the lilies; he says the lilies are good.

but we are very good. we are more important than the lilies.
did Jesus die for the lilies? no.
he died for us.

so why, if i know that Jesus loves me that much, so much more than the lilies, do i think that He'll allow to just miss his plan for me.
The shepherd watches over the sheep because the sheep need watching over and have a tendency to wander.

i'm going to copy and paste the previous sentence down below for my own benefit because i need to read it again.

The shepherd watches over the sheep because the sheep need watching over and have a tendency to wander.

He knows. HE KNOWS. he knows we wander, we're dumb, we get distracted, all while our hearts truly do want what God wants for us!

Thank you, Jesus, for not sitting back and just letting me wander. That would be no entertainment for you. You watch us because we obviously can't watch ourselves, not because we live life so greatly.

confession: this post was written more for me than you. sorry.

but AGAIN: God goes beyond me (hallelujah!) and gets to YOU even with my crappy writing and imagery. Thanks, Jesus. That's just cool.

so, think about that tonight, maybe. Jesus loves us more than we know, and can remember on a daily basis apparently....that's my case anyway.

i love you all!
happy saturday!

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