Have you ever noticed what a mess we can make of our lives? In some ways it isn’t much different than the mess kids can make in their rooms. The other day I walked into one of my kids rooms, and they had just about every toy they own pulled out somewhere on the floor and had left it there. When they went to bed; I was a little concerned they would trip over something and wake up everyone in the house crying, but they didn’t.
After a weekend of playing with many toys and leaving them out...yesterday Keri and the kids cleaned the whole house, and all the toys were put back in their place and order was restored in each of the kids’ rooms. And I came home to a very clean house!
As I have been preaching about the Good Shepherd and the sheep the last couple of weeks, I am still in awe of what the Good Shepherd does in my life. So many days I make a mess of things. Sometimes it’s a mess I make with my kids because I lose my patience or raise my voice to a level that I shouldn’t.
Sometimes I make a mess because I don’t love Keri the way I know I should and I am selfish and want my own way. I forget that Jesus loved me by laying down his life for me. Sometimes I make a mess because I am not wise in decisions I make or I didn’t manage my money well. Other times I make a mess because I am just flat out disobedient to God’s commands. And let’s be honest...those add up to a lot of messes.
But, the Good Shepherd is not afraid of my messes either. He knows me by name and is intimately acquainted with my messes. In fact, He even knows the mess I will make before I make it. But you want to know something...He still cares for me and He still loves me.
A good shepherd will spend countless hours cleaning briars out of the wool of the sheep after he got hung up in the briar patch and made a mess. A good shepherd will spend time cleaning the sheep after they got stuck in the mud and forgot they were a sheep and not a pig. Jesus does the same for us.
We have all been stuck in the briar patch, but one by one the Good Shepherd pulls away each briar. We have all been stained from a mud puddle or two that we have gotten ourselves stuck in...ok let’s just call the mud puddle sin, so we all feel better. We have all been stained by sin that has gotten a foothold in our life, but the Good Shepherd longs to set us free from sin and clean us up from the stains it leaves.
He is the Good Shepherd and He loves and cares for His sheep. I hope that as you go throughout the week you will be reminded of everything He has done and is doing for you, and you will find great hope in the midst of all your circumstances.
“In the Christian life there is no substitute for the keen awareness that my shepherd is nearby. There is nothing like Christ’s presence to dispel the fear, the panic, the terror of the unknown.” Phillip Keller