Walking Away From the Shepherd…

Many people think that becoming  a Christian is a guarantee of a life of peace and tranquility. They read the Bible verses of hope and promise, but miss the verses about spiritual warfare. (Why do we need armor again?)  What happens to a faith that is built on sand, “a misinformed hope that being a Christian comes with a fast pass to heaven”, free of any heartache? Where is the faith that is built on a rock, where we dare God in our prayers and say “not my will, but Yours”?

What happens when the reality of this prayer means death, devastation, dark days, and failed dreams? Do we walk away from the church? Do we walk away from Christ? Do we become one of the lost sheep, who let the reality of the wolves, persuade us to wander away from the Great Shepherd? 

What happens when one of God’s sheep slips into the claws of drugs, the choke of pornography, or the cliffs of depression? “Where is God now”, screams the lost sheep?

There are days that we may feel so alone. There are days we feel so discouraged. There are days we may feel that we can throw a rock as far as we can and we wont even reach God’s sound waves. There are days we will feel disappointment, defeat, and disaster. There are days the rain never stops and days that the empty silence  screams in our hearts. There are days that our regrets are like knives that tear us apart.

You are never too lost to experience the grace of a Father who formed you, made you, knows your address, knows your vices, knows your heart, and loves you, despite you. You are never too broken for the Master Sculptor. Thinking of God as a Father may be hard as some of you have been hurt deeply by your fathers. They may have abandoned  you and your family, beat your mother, made false promises, choked you with crushing words, but God as our Father will never do these things. 

Before David became king, he must have felt so alone. He felt like a black sheep in his family. He was the smallest and seemingly weakest of all his warrior brothers. He was disliked by them and sent to the barren pasture by his father to sit and watch sheep, while his brothers became war heroes. If David had a facebook page, his status updates would be pretty boring during this time. However, God had great plans for this little shepherd boy who would come to be a picture of what Christ would one day do for the entire earth. He would also become one of this world’s greatest kings.

Here is one thing David found  in his journey: “Psalms 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.”

This week, give God a chance. Don’t run away from your troubles. Don’t fall for every temptation. Don’t lose faith. Trust God, that even in the wait line, even bored in the pasture, even in your failures, God will never leave you or forsake you. Anyone can walk away. It takes true faith to not follow the crowd, to stand up to the temptations, pull out the sword of truth and realize that the truth of it all is that “God made me to love me” and not hurt me. Life is unfair, but I will endure through Christ! Stay Strong!

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