Loved, forgiven, nurtured.
Have you ever watched a TV programme where someone is caring for an animal? They are gentle; they speak softly; they stroke and encourage; they may not speak at all but just sit in silence and watch and wait. Some may lead the way, some may go nowhere.
Have you ever looked at their eyes? They shine with love and passion for the creatures in their care.
Jesus said He is the good Shepherd. A good shepherd cares for his sheep. He knows each one by name. He looks after them, tending their wounds, leading them to the best pastures, caring for their wool, helping them with their lambs, keeping them safe – and loving them.
Jesus does that for us. When we hurt, He is there, His presence and His healing can be felt when we ask Him for His help. When we are hungry, He provides for us. He stops us from wandering into dangerous situations, and if we don’t listen and get caught up in them anyway, He helps us to find the way out.
Jesus does this. But He does not charge in and do it. We have to invite Him. He waits to be asked. Have you asked Him to help you now? Whatever you are facing, try it. Ask Him for help and then wait and watch. He will respond. He does it for many people every day. He will do it for you too.
Unless it will harm you. When a child asks for an icecream, unless they are dairy or sugar intolerant or there is a very good reason why the child should not have one, a loving parent will, at some stage, give them one. But if the treat will hurt them then they will withhold it, for the child’s good. A child does not always understand what is good and what is not. Neither do we, and sometimes God has to say ‘no’ to us when we ask for something that will ultimately harm us.
But if what we ask for will bless us in some way, Jesus will provide it. As our good Shepherd, He cares for our every need and leads us to a place of provision and rest.
Some Scriptures to ponder:
Psalm 23:1-2 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters.
John 10:11 I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
John 10:14 I am the good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me.
Luke 11:9-10 So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Revelation 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me.