Coping with the Challenges, Prayer & Devotion

“Feed My Sheep”

Recent meditations on Psalm 23 have me thinking a great deal on shepherds and sheep. For a while, I have been melted by the truth that I am the poor, helpless, anxious sheep, and The Lord is my good and caring Shepherd. But, God has also opened my eyes to His command for me to be a shepherd to other sheep. He speaks to me as He did to Peter when He said, “Do you love me? …. Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17). But, Lord, I am just a helpless sheep, who often stumbles and falls. How can you use me? It manifests God’s power and glory when He can use dumb sheep, like me, for the work of His kingdom. He certainly doesn’t need me, but He chooses to use me. He provides me with everything to do the work He has prepared for me to do. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3).

Mother and ChildThe more I think about sheep, the more I think of my son. My husband and I went away for a couple of days, and his parents kindly offered to watch the kids for us. My son was overcome with anxiety even before we left. I told him the day before we left to give him time to adjust, but not too much time that he would be a wreck. Though he knows his grandparents and is very familiar with their house, the fact that we would not be around him for a few days was a lot for him to bear. “I think I’m gonna miss you” were his words to me when I kissed him goodbye. And when we called during our trip to check on them, the first thing he said was “Why is it taking a long time? Why are you not here yet?” Being experts at spoiling our children, Grandma and Grandpa did their best to make it a fun time with them. But Gabriel was not easily thwarted from his worries and fears. He really is my little lamb. As he finds peace and comfort in the knowledge of my presence, I pray he would come to know the greater and lasting peace from Jesus Christ Himself.

By God’s mercy and grace, He has given me a few sheep to look after. The little ones, running around in the church nursery, who are eager to hear amazing stories from God’s Word. The young women in my Bible study, who have numerous questions about their new roles as wife and mother. And, of course, my precious children, who God has entrusted to me and my husband to raise them up in the discipline and instruction of The Lord.

Who are your sheep? As we experience the care of our Lord, we are, in turn, to demonstrate the same love for the sheep under our stewardship, by feeding them His Word and pointing them to the presence of the Good Shepherd who will completely satisfy their souls.

 

(Photo credit 1: Dave Hamster)

15 thoughts on ““Feed My Sheep””

  1. this reminds me of an 8-year-old with similar anxiety when he separated from his mom for a medical intervention… oh, it was so heart-breaking to hear him cry “Mom, I really really really need you right now!”

    Made me tear up…

    1. I spoke with my son 3 times on the phone while we were away, and each time, I could here the anxiety in his shaky voice. As much as I don’t want him to go through that, I know God is using it to soften my heart towards him and to increase my compassion for him. That might sound strange for a mother to say because people assume mothers should naturally have soft hearts towards their children. But, as much as I love my kids, the fight with my sin and flesh happens everyday.

  2. Love this!! I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Mostly about the interaction between Peter and the Lord as Jesus encouraged Peter to think about who or what he really loved. Jesus told him to feed the lambs and to feed the sheep. From the most tender and frail to the oldest of the sheep, they are all to be taught, fed and cared for. Jesus was sending Peter to be responsible for helping to get the young church started on its very difficult mission.

    1. Great insight! I love how you put it, that the church’s sphere of ministry should reach all, “from the most tender and frail to the oldest of the sheep”. Thank you for your comment and for the reblog!

      1. Yes, the ‘lambs’ that Jesus referred to were the youngest of the flock. Peter as the ‘lead guy’ of the newly formed church was to make sure that the whole church was to be led and fed.
        I am reminded often of the stern rebuke that Jesus gave to the disciples for being bothered when moms and kids came up to interrupt their adult conversations. Jesus looked forward to and encouraged those interruptions.

        God bless you.

  3. I can so relate to Gabriel … “Why is it taking a long time? Why are you not here yet?” … I find myself saying this to my Heavenly Father so often … I am glad He is patient with me and am so grateful He can be fully trusted while we are waiting for Him. 🙂

    1. Thank you for saying this! I have many frustrating days with my son, mostly because I don’t completely understand what’s going on with him and because of my own sins. But, God is teaching me so much through him. I also see that I am the same way as he is when I am before God my Father.

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