A few weeks ago, we were on the Navajo Reservation for a marathon (My husband runs, not me!). My daughter and I did our usual: Cheered for Dad at the start, went out for breakfast, and went back to watch the race finish.
When we came back to the finish, I parked the car on the side of the road and got out of the car to see a racing sheep within arms' reach! I had never before seen a sheep run so fast! I giggled, guffawed, and yelled for my daughter to look as the sheep sprinted away. I also grabbed my phone and caught this image:
I have laughed about this many times in the past few weeks, showing it to several of my friends. One of them said, "Oh! That's just like us, isn't it?
Yep. Just like us.
Over and over, we run away from God. Sometimes we sprint... sometimes we meander... sometimes we follow the herd...
And we find ourselves far away from God. From our refuge and our strength. From the blessings He bestows upon us so freely.
We might end up in a relationship that doesn't glorify God (Been there. Done that.). We might find our selves deep in the mire of a sin we thought we had "conquered" long ago (Done that, too.). We might just realize that some activity, interest, or person has become an idol (Yep. That one, too.). But in every case, we find that we are far, far away from our eternal salvation.
What do we do then???
Just like the Prodigal Son, we turn back to find our Father waiting to envelop us in His loving arms. He is ready to restore us at any moment! He is there to shepherd us back to safety, to blessing, to refuge.
We return with nothing. He again gives us everything, including salvation. Praise God Almighty! Turn back. Ask Him to rescue you.
Life is waiting! His life. Eternal life.
Saturday, May 7, 2016
This verse holds my heart in this place. We are often called to serve here, with no knowledge of whether our work will matter or not. Making a meal for an intoxicated person does not sober them up or bring them to church on Sunday. Giving a ride to folks doesn't guarantee that they'll see it as the hand of Jesus. Planning for AWANA (our children/youth ministry) doesn't necessarily bring children and youth to the church on Monday night.
But reread Ecclesiastes 11:6: ...for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good. It is not our place to convert people; that is the Holy Spirit's work. It is our place to obey Jesus: "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation." Mark 16:15.
So proclaim the gospel! In all you do, from laundry to serving meals to the homeless, do all in the name of Jesus! Plant those seeds and let God Himself water them and make them grow. Reach out to the drunken wanderer; perhaps you'll sow a seed that will come to fruition years from now. Offer help to the broken; you may find out later that your words prevented a suicide.
As Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." Serving the least of these is ministry. And Jesus calls the least of these his brothers. We are called to serve them, whoever they are.