Have you ever been overcome by God’s faithfulness in your life? Our pastor spoke on John 10 this past Sunday when Jesus makes the analogy of Him being the good shepherd. This passage gives us confidence in our salvation assuring us that it cannot be lost. However, the part that struck me the most was when he told us how a shepherd will use his staff to discipline the sheep when one goes astray or tries to wander off by hooking the leg and breaking it. This means that the shepherd will need to carry the sheep for the next 6 weeks but how after that time the sheep will stay close to the shepherd.
I couldn’t help but tear up a bit as I realized that although my trials have been longer than 6 weeks, the result has been the same. God’s faithfulness has brought me to a place of not wanting to leave his side, not wanting anything apart from His will in my life through the trials and the times he has been carrying me. It just became crystal clear as I let the words sink in.
The Footsteps poem came to mind again as I pondered this nugget, too. It’s during those tough times that He carries us. More importantly, though, He’s teaching us to lean into and rely on Him, just like the shepherd creates relationship while carrying the injured sheep. I’m so grateful to know that He’s carrying me through now as I go through the tough stuff rather than walking through feeling all alone as the author of the poem seems to portray.
Later on in the day as I was praying, God opened my eyes to the parenting application of this, too. We are commanded not bring our children to anger with our discipline. I realized that just like the shepherd’s discipline of the sheep brings about relationship, so our parenting should also bring about relationship with our children. Yes, the discipline should be painful somehow, but not a pain that brings anger- a pain that causes them to draw closer to us and the Lord.
All I could do in response was thank the Lord for the work he has done in my life, what the hard things have produced and ask Him so show me the way to parent my 3 munchkins in this same way. Too often, Big Bro just gets mad and plays the blame game when he’s disciplined. God knows the way, though and can trust that if I continue to seek Him, He will show me what to do differently in parenting those He has entrusted to my care.
Tonight I am beyond grateful for God’s faithfulness. How have you experienced God’s faithfulness recently?