Monday, May 24, 2010
Mid-Day Devotion 5/24/10
“As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.”
Imagine dear brothers and sisters, not just the strength of the Lord in protecting the sheep of his flock or the joy of our Good Shepherd when he finds that one sheep that has strayed to bring it back to the pastures of His blessed rest. Imagine as well the desperation of our blessed Shepherd when even one of His sheep find themselves in danger. Imagine as well the deep and abiding relief that He finds in rescuing them from the paw of the lion and the mouth of the wolves waiting to devour them.
The faithful and vigilant promise of our Shepherd is the assurance that His rod and His staff shall always be raised for us. By His encompassing mercy we shall be protected and guided through the dangers of this world to the green fields of His peace as He holds us close to Him, refusing to let harm come to us. When we wander or when we are taken, when we find ourselves lost and astray far beyond those meadows, it is with such anguish in His voice that He calls to us that we may hear His voice that we might hear the love and find our way once more to His blessed strength for the protection that we so need.
Never does there come a time when He fails us or forsakes us, never is there a time when He abandons us, more concerned with the sheep who dwell in safety than He is for the one who finds themselves in such despondency and despair. Never does there come a day when He leaves us to the hopelessness of desolation and the bitterness of darkness, no matter how rocky the path is that separates us from Him.
This is the miracle of our Good Shepherd’s encompassing mercy for us as He moves with authority and strength to show just how beloved we truly are to Him. It is then faithful and true to rightly see Him as the God of true deliverance and abiding liberty as He shows Himself in the compassion and the grace that He truly makes manifest in the lives of His children whom He so cares for with such a love as we have never seen before.
What a rest we are then given in the quiet places He carries us to even in the most chaotic of times that surround us.
Let us pray:
O Lord it is You who are our Shepherd, it is You who guides us by the Rod and the Staff to the blessed places of our encompassing and transcending rest. Upon Your fields do You make for us a place of peace, in Your meadows are we given a place of love.
Lead then Your sheep who have found themselves in the rocky places by the same. Around them they are faced by those who would seek to devour them as darkness and pain so surround them. Persecution and oppression, captivity and bondage so seek to swallow them amidst the despair and the anguish of the misery inflicted on them by the power of unrighteousness lifted against them.
Let not this hurt and sorrow be that which they know, let it not be the hopelessness in which they are carried off from Your pastures by. Show unto them the love that can and only does arise by Your hand raised for their protection and rescue as mercy abounds in their lives and hope is made manifest by the authority in which You move in this world by and through.
Restore the souls of Your sheep and strengthen their hearts that their days shall be blessed and Your goodness shall be rejoiced in through the wonders of Your miracles made present in Your grace.
Then shall the abounding love of Your wondrous compassion be the call by which all know of Your blessed mercy as they look upon Your face to see the Good Shepherd who blesses the sheep of His flock.
In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.