"His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you're named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls." 1 Peter 2:24-25 (MSG)
Lately the only thing that brings me peace is submitting my heart to God as my Good Shepherd. I'm in one of those seasons where every part of my life seems to need leadership and direction. I have no idea how to be a father. I have no idea how to provide leadership to a non-profit. I have no idea how to lead Rachel and myself to the type of ministry we want to be doing.
My first reaction to these seasons always seems to be looking to myself. I sit down and try and chart a path. I reorganize my time, read books—trying to think and plan my way to peace. But the more I lean on myself, putting everything on my own shoulders, the heavier and heavier the world becomes. Eventually I get so weighed down that I can't seem to carry one more thing, and that's when I remember my frame the way my heavenly Father does, as dust (Psalm 103:14).
This morning was one of those times where I went to God burdened on every level. And in his presence I remembered his promise, "Come to me...and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). I began to hand over to God the burdens of work, family, finances and future. And one by one as my capable Father took these burdens, I realized that in all of it I really have but one job, to follow.
1 Peter 2:24-25 says, "His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you're named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls." Some part of me has always resented the notion of being compared to a sheep. It feels a little demeaning. But today things are different. Today, being a sheep led by a Good Shepherd sounds really nice. To give up on the notion that I can figure everything out on my own—that I can go my own way and be just fine is producing a lot of peace. At the end of the day, more than leading my own life I really just want to end up in a pasture with some green grass.
Small victories won by self-sufficiency should really be counted as loss, for they only lead down the path of pride and only add weight to an already burdened life. If good things happen in my life as the result of me, it's me who will get the glory. And glory comes with a price I can't pay.
You weren't made to feel burdened. You weren't made to bear the weight of glory. But you have a heavenly Father who takes your burdens and gives you peace. You have a God worthy of all glory, all power and all dominion who bears the weight of glory and uses it for our good. Spend some time casting your burdens at the feet of your Good Shepherd. Allow him to remind you that "you're named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your [soul]." And find rest in following the perfect leadership of a King worth your life. May the pastures you find with him nourish and restore your soul.
By Craig Denison
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