All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6
“Dr. Andrew Bonar told me how, in the Highlands of Scotland, a sheep would often wander off into the rocks and get into places that they couldn’t get out of. The grass on these mountains is very sweet and the sheep like it, and they will jump down ten or twelve feet, and then they can’t jump back again, and the shepherd hears them bleating in distress. They may be there for days, until they have eaten all the grass. The shepherd will wait until they are so faint they cannot stand, and then they will put a rope around him, and he will go over and pull that sheep up out of the jaws of death. “Why don’t they go down there when the sheep first gets there?” I asked. “Ah!” He said, “they are so very foolish they would dash right over the precipice and be killed if they did!” And that is the way with men; they won’t go back to God till they have no friends and have lost everything. If you are a wanderer I tell you that the Good Shepherd will bring you back the moment you have given up trying to save yourself and are willing to let Him save you His own way.”- Moody’s Anecdotes
Like sheep, we can realize that we have been so busy nibbling on the grass, our heads to the grindstone of life, that we lift up our heads and awaken to the fact that we are lost and in danger. “We all like sheep have gone astray” is a beautiful movement in Handel’s Messiah. So often, we have gone astray in ways that seem harmless or in ways where we can easily rationalize and make excuses. Perhaps this is the most dangerous of ways we become lost.
How Easy It is to Stray!
We do not even recognize it, but we worship a relentless God who in Jesus never gives up offering his radical grace and never stops pursuing lost sheep. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all of my days,” says the Psalmist. The Good Shepherd cares so deeply and is so committed to this relationship, that God will not be satisfied until he draws all the world to himself. It is God’s desire to find and bring back all the sheep into the sheepfold. People matter to God!
Today, if you are feeling out of sorts or experiencing a sense of confusion and loss of purpose and direction in life; feeling that your heart is yearning for something more, something deeper than what the emptiness of the world has to offer, then hear this message, the Good Shepherd is calling you. The Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ gave His life to rescue you. Stop, sit in the quietness and hear the voice of the Shepherd call your name. He has been seeking you and with relentless grace won’t stop until he finds you.
To all who are searching for joy, the God of joy and life has already found you. You can stop running away from Him and return to Him. He is waiting there for you with open arms, with forgiving arms. You may wrongly believe that your sins are too great, no they are not. Nothing is too big, nor impossible for our God. The blood of Christ completely covers all your sins and mine. Come, run into the waiting arms of your Savior Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. As the apostle, John reminds us, “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3
You matter to God. You were not only found, but you were also redeemed and you are dearly loved!