Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.” (Luke 15:3-5)
Monday, February 1
Most of us probably don’t wake up in the morning with the express intent of straying from God. More often than not we end up spiritually astray before we realize it.
Palestinian shepherds will tell you how most sheep get lost. They nibble their way into “lostness.” They move from one square yard of green grass to the next and will keep moving along from square yard to square yard, with their heads always down, concerned only with consuming the grass in front of them. Before long they’ve nibbled their way away from the shepherd and the flock.
A lot of us know what it’s like to nibble ourselves bit by bit into “lostness.” In the midst of dealing with the consequences, we begin to ask ourselves a question like -
How did I ever end up in bed with her or him? How did I ever end up hooked on this stuff? How did I ever end up treating my kids so poorly? How did I ever end up in these conversations, using this language, exchanging this gossip? How did I ever end up so filled with pride and taken with myself? How did I ever end up weaving this tangled web of lies?
The answer to all those questions is usually the same - we nibbled our way into “lostness.”
We became more preoccupied with what was before our eyes at the present moment than where we were in proximity to the Shepherd and His will.
One compromise led to another, and before we knew it we were in a position with something or someone in which we would have never imagined ourselves being. Such is the subtle and progressive nature of sin. It takes us farther than we want to go, keeps us longer than we want to stay, and costs us more than we want to pay.
The good news is we have a Shepherd who pursues us when we’re in the “far country” and who is eager to bring us home.
Keep your eyes on the Shepherd today. Don’t lose sight of His presence in the midst of whatever is facing you in the present.
Grace and peace,
Posted on Mon, February 1, 2016
by Chris Seidman