Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Responding to the Shepherd

 John 10:11, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
There are many things I can choose (there are, of course, the overwhelmingly obvious things I cannot choose!)  I choose the temperature of my house due to the wonders of central heat and air; my hair color, thanks to my stylist and the magic of Aveda; what my 2 year old wears (for now!); my specialized Starbucks beverage of choice; even my friends and circle of influence...etc.
But really on my mind today is the fact that God actually allows me to choose Him or rather "respond" to Him in the midst of the situations He allows in my life.  Over and over.  Again and again, through the joys, heartache and pain life brings I hear my Shepherd whisper, "Choose Me, I am trust, I am goodness!  My Ways are higher than your ways, allow me to lead you into My perfect peace..."

Wes and I are reading and processing through the book "Shepherding A Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp right now, and he coins the term "Godward orientation"... which I love.   You see, as parents, we can provide just the "perfect" home for our children, and never address the way they orient their hearts.  Danger.

Each of us is either choosing, in the triumphs and trials of this human life grid, to respond to God...or not. We either orient our hearts to the Good Shepard in our circumstances; or we choose to turn the other direction.  

There is no neutral ground, I'm convinced. 

What our Wise Shepherd allows into our lives to strengthen us in deep places, may end in deep rooted bitterness.   
Isaiah 41:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you...I will strengthen you and help you..."

The gifts He may lavish on us meant to spill over into humble thanksgiving sometimes end in self-reliance.   

James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above..."

Jesus laid down His life for His sheep....YOU and ME for our eternal salvation; and has given us the unbelievable opportunity to consistently respond to Him, the Good Shepherd.

I suppose it is not so much our life circumstances that shape us, but rather our responses to God in the midst of life that make us who we are. 

I am on the healing road from the loss of our most recent miscarriage.  We were 10 weeks on our way to having another life to lead by God's grace. He or she had a little heartbeat, a life...and our hearts.
I don't understand, but I choose to respond my Shepherd. 
I choose to respond to Him in my loss and allow Him to cause hope to rise, to strengthen me in the in most places.  He is enough, He is present and He is good.  I choose to live in the extravagant grace He has given to me and trust Him who is worthy!

Lord help us respond to YOU and what you are up to rather than walk the other way!
It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit we can respond to you in heartache or abundance.  Lift our eyes out of our situations and to the hills to see our great Helper!  
Thank you Jesus that you laid down your very life for us, your lost sheep, give us grace and wisdom to respond back to your love and leading.  Amen!

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