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02/11/16 ~ Midweek Meditation

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV)

Today I went to meet Claire for lunch with our dog (Lucy). As I was preparing to leave, I went outside to get the car ready for our trip, and instead of putting Lucy in her usual place (the kitchen), I left her out knowing that she would be leaving with me soon. As soon as I closed the front door and started walking toward my car, I heard Lucy start to bark and fuss in frustration, not only was I leaving her behind, but I didn’t even put her in the kitchen! If she only knew that in 3 minutes she and I would be on the road to go and see her favorite person in the whole wide world, but I needed to go ahead of her to prepare for her trip.

We are a lot like Lucy. We don’t understand the grand scheme of things in our lives and we don’t know what our master is up to. The Bible describes us as sheep, a mostly blind un-intelligent animal that has little idea what is going on around it (flattering, I know). But the reality is that we are a lot like sheep. What will tomorrow bring, what will today bring, will you finish reading this midweek meditation? I don’t know, you don’t know, nobody knows except God; and that’s ok. On Sunday, Jeff spoke about God’s perfect timing and the orchestration of minuscule details in the trip of Cornelius’ men as they made their way to meet Peter at Simon the Tanner’s house. God worked out all the meal times, potty breaks, and other bumps along the way to perfectly coincide with Peter’s vision - the timing was impeccable.

Do you often feel vulnerable or confused when you think about what in the world God is doing in your life? I think we all do – we are all near-sighted (unable to see anything too far ahead of us). One of the most comforting descriptions of Jesus in my mind, is Jesus as our Shepherd. I think of Psalm 23 specifically where David talks about his perfect contentment in having Jesus as his shepherd (vs.1), and his description of walking beside quiet waters (again dangerous for a nearly blind animal), walking through the valley of the shadow of death and yet fearing no evil. Jesus is our shepherd too, and the lover of our souls. He watches after us with a deep love, and guides our every step even when we falter. He loves you, and is looking after you even now as you read this – and he has promised to never leave you nor forsake you no matter what your background is.

In John 10, Jesus says that He has other sheep too, who are “not of this fold” a.k.a. “not believers yet”- maybe you know one or two of them. Who do you know who is hurting and scared, or confused about what is happening in their life? Maybe God wants you to lead them back to him so that He can bind up their wounds, and restore them to whole health. May the Good Shepherd watch over you this week and pour out blessing after blessing on you and your families. Go share the good news about Jesus and may He use you to bless his people.

Joe Popp

 



The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Psalm 23 ESV)