Yesterday, I was able to travel to visit Amsterdam. On the way, in the bus, the scenery was beautiful. Beautiful homes, fields, flowers, small towns and cities. One thing I saw a lot of was sheep.
I love how, when the Lord is revealing something to you He brings it up again and again. Through the pastor at the Turkish Armenian Church I am involved in here in Brussels, morning devotions with my MTW family, and personally, the Lord has been showing Himself to me as my Good Shepherd.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11
“I am the Good Shepherd,” Jesus tells us. Psalm 23 talks about how our good Shepherd leads, restores, guides, protects, and provides for His sheep. We don’t have to fear. In trials we can cry out to our good Father and He will give us peace only He can give (John 14:27).
As I’ve been here at CCMI (the cross cultural ministry training through MTW) now for a week and a half I’m starting to process all the transitions I’m going through a bit more. My heart is finally realizing what my head has known for a long time now. I’m transitioning out of living life with a family I’ve lived with for two years. I’m transitioning out of nannying for 3 young boys I’ve nannied for six years into full-time fundraising and soon the mission field. I’m transitioning out of providing for myself and into relying on others generosity and ultimately the Lord. I’m transiting out of serving at my home church of 24 years to being sent out by them to spread the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Yes, these are all good things, necessary transitions. I know this is where the Lord is leading me and I am SO excited about it! After all these years of waiting on the Lord, He is finally sending me out. I can’t wait to get to Nicaragua.
Yet, in the midst of the excitement I also grieve deeply. I grieve leaving the job I have found purpose and joy in for so long. I grieve leaving the family and precious boys I have had the privilege of deeply investing in over the years. I grieve the upcoming departure from my own dear family. As I leave the known and secure and enter into the unknown, I am drawn all the more to our Good Shepherd and I feel Him draw close to me.
I am reminded that our Good Shepherd not only gave His life for His sheep for our future, so that we might live with Him forever; but also for our present, that we might taste His goodness in this life. Praise be to His Name, the one who has gone before me, who gave up everything for me, and who enables me to follow Him in abandonment.
Whether you are abandoning self to follow the Lord, going through tough trials, or bogged down at the increasing wickedness of our world; we can and must lean into and trust out Good Shepherd. He knows. He cares. He gave. He will come again. He will restore.
Do we see God as our Good Shepherd? What are you being called to abandon and follow your Good Shepherd who has gone before you? What ways is your Good Shepherd wooing you to rest in His peace and care for you?
In a world that seems to increase in wickedness may we all learn to turn all the more to the loving embrace of our Good Shepherd.
Relying on our Good Shepherd with you,