Jesus Christ, Super Shepherd

Photo by Erik-Jan Leusink on Unsplash

I’ve passed the half way mark of summer vacation with the kids and have started to feel like a toy with low batteries. Some days, dead batteries.

I wanted to make all the kids happy, give them a fun summer, give others and their kids a fun summer. I said “Yes” a lot to invitations, and reached out to people to make plans. And crowding that same plate was the stuff that might fall into a “personal ministry” category: volunteering, praying with and for people, long conversations about spiritual things…

Writing this devotion…

But I have become so deeply, terribly tired. Even hearing my phone buzz for a text makes me anxious. Suddenly realizing how bad off I had become, I stopped to pray yesterday and ask the Lord for help. I asked Him what, out of all of these things, I needed to drop.

In response, I saw a picture play out in my mind: I was a tired superhero hanging up her cape. Laying down the burden to answer every call, fill every need, be everything. And the twist was, I understood that I had been putting on that cape mistakenly – like Bolt the super dog, I didn’t actually have super powers. No wonder I was burnt out: as it turns out, I’m only human…but taking on every need around me anyway.

It wasn’t one particular thing I needed to stop doing, it was a way of seeing myself that needed to stop, or rather a new way of seeing myself that needed to begin.

I asked Him to show me what He would give me in place of the cape (it’s a pattern for prayer I use sometimes, what to let go of and what He gives in place of that thing). And I saw myself again, this time as a sheep being gently led by the shepherd through green pastures to quiet water.

God is caring for His sheep. All of them. Me, you, your kids, my family… I don’t have to take that job on myself. Jesus is superhero enough for the world. And when He wants me as His sidekick, I know the Spirit will call (and equip me!). But He’ll always be the one doing it, always the sleepless one watching over this city.

Do you overspend yourself caring for others or the world around you? What do you need to entrust to the Shepherd today? What do you need from Him yourself? Read Psalm 23 and picture yourself as the sheep, and Jesus as the superhero shepherd guarding you and the whole flock, the whole world…

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11

On Christ the Solid Rock

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Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

Have you guys ever had this experience: you’re reading or watching or listening to something, and suddenly God was speaking to you through it? It’s like the whole room dims and it’s just you and Him and lights are turning on – your heart just knows something?

It happened to me yesterday at church. You may recall how I’m in this waiting season, wondering what’s coming next cause nothing feels stable anymore. Well as I’m singing

…On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand…

all of a sudden the Lord made me realize how much I was standing on the sand. My sense of security has come from the familiar – my friends, family, church and local community. But lately so many things have been changing. Even many of my closest friends, for many reasons, aren’t available as much as they used to be. Shifting sands. And I feel scared or uncertain.

But it was as if God was saying to me: whether you live here till your dying breath or leave all of this behind for a new physical home, I AM the one stable, unchanging love in your life.

It’s easier to lean on those I can see (and hug!) around me, but even in these few hours since He spoke to me I’m already seeing that leaning (standing!) on Him brings a peace that swallows up uncertainty about life circumstances. When waves of fear begin to swell in me I run to Him and find this reassurance – He didn’t go anywhere, His love for me hasn’t changed. He is still totally wise and totally good and I’m totally His.

And it’s going to be OK.

What are the sands in your life that you tend to lean on?