Sunday, September 30, 2012
I never thought I would make this connection, but here it is. Today I'm reminded of Jesus being like a Shepherd, using His rod and staff to guide me through life. When I have thought of a staff in the past, it conjured up images of condemnation in the form of corporal punishment, or having it waved around me as a sign of blessing or to have a decree enforced.
But today, I dug further and came up with another truth: while the Bible may talk about God as a shepherd who uses a rod to keep the sheep in line, the actual rod is the Bible itself. God uses IT to have us learn, be guided through the vast pastures of life, and come closer and closer to Him. And, the best part is, when death eventually comes, we are treated the same as when we were infants as well as new Christians - we are held lovingly and with compassion so that no matter where we go in life, God is inescapable. He meets us at Heaven's door to know that His calling eventually led us to the best pastures ever imagined.
By listening to the Word, I can actually improve the quality of my life on SP. I can follow my plan on HERE and allow myself to learn through each experience, knowing my Shepherd is constantly leading me to better myself. But, lest I think it's a journey for me to do alone, He makes me realize I am just one sheep among millions; while I have my own mark to make, no one is less special. It is only when we all walk together toward the same goals that the strength we gain in numbers helps us ALL walk to the prize. Our health and our goals. In my case, my additional motive is God. I have done more for my spiritual endurance by physically walking for health than I have in all the years I have attended church. I have been led through some rocky roads filled with pain, but God pushed me to keep going. He tested my faith and made me stop to reflect on His power. Twice I have had a life-changing moment that made me fall to my knees in worship and know a clear vision from Him regarding my life's plans.
I KNOW He desires me healthy and full of energy so I can do the work He is so aptly calling me to do. And I wouldn't have it any other way, because I know I spent far too long feeling sorry for myself and less sorry for those around me. But never again!!!!!!!!! I am living in the moment, and each moment calls for me to learn and love others with more urgency than before. Acceptance, love, and patience can now more clearly reign in me, and it is my constant prayer that I can continue to reach out to those in need, today and every day.
Be blessed, my friends! Keep sparking!!!!!!!!!!!