Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In Need of a Gate

The pursuit of my life lately has been allowing God to be in control and accepting that God is sufficient. It has been a frustrating pursuit, not because of anything God is doing, but because it is so hard for me to relinquish the control I think I have to God and to clear my thoughts of all the junk that fills my head and distracts me from acknowledging the sufficiency of God.

This morning I was reading John 10:1-18, where Jesus describes himself as both the gate for the sheepfold and the shepherd. He talks about the thieves and robbers who sneak over the wall to disrupt the sheep and contrasts that with the shepherd who enters through the gate. Verse 10 says: “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

A rich and satisfying life. This is what Jesus wants to give us. Yet I know I get distracted by the thieves and robbers who steal my time and my attention away from God. And because I am just a dumb sheep, I am so easily distracted by their deceitfulness. I fall into their traps of thinking that surely I must do this or that thing or it will not get done or that I must be productive instead of trusting God to provide what I need. My times of prayer are interrupted by sneaky thieves who turn my thoughts to what I will prepare for supper. Robbers steal my joy by telling me that I haven’t done enough to “earn” God’s love or to merit the rich and satisfying life Jesus promises.

I need Jesus to be my gate, to be the filter that prevents the demands this world wants to place on me from getting over the wall. I need to listen only for my Shepherd’s voice, and follow him alone. He knows so much better than I do what is necessary for my well-being. It is only in surrendering to my Shepherd and realizing that all that is needed is for me to trust him that I can have the peace of a rich and satisfying life.

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