[Jesus said,] “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
I have many, many fears. But my fears begin to control and drive my life when I become uncentred from God. Like an absent-minded little lamb, I wander away from the safety and security of my loving Shepherd and try to live life on my own in a pasture of my own choosing.
But the cost is always too high. For the grass in my self-chosen pasture, though at first glance it appeared to be more lush and green than what my Shepherd chose for me, has turned out to be tasteless straw that leaves my soul hungering for more.
I lift my head and look around and all I see is danger. A lone wolf circles around my left flank, a pack of coyotes trot towards me on my right. Sharp rocks and a steep cliff lay before me.
But then I turn my head and see my Lord running after me, His robes hitched up around His waist so He can gain more speed. With a swift blow of His staff, He lays the wolf low. The coyotes scatter in cowardice as He approaches. Before I can even breathe, He snatches me from the edge of the cliff, lifts me to His shoulders and carries me home.
This is where I belong: In my Master’s loving arms, in the safety of His kingdom, nourished by His pasture, surrounded by His people—my fellow wandering lambs who the Good Shepherd has gathered into His flock, not because we have somehow deserved or earned such a gift. On the contrary, all of us are roguish characters unfit for any such special honour.
No, our place in this pasture is a gift. So we learn to love what has already been given to us. We seek first the kingdom which Jesus has already given us and we trust that He will supply all that we need in this world. For our life consists of more than what we experience in the here and now. And the best is yet to come.
So we are content and thankful in the pasture of our King.
Dear Jesus, thank You for bringing me into Your Kingdom. Help me to grow in my love for You, Your people and Your pasture. Amen.