Monday, November 21, 2011

The Good Shepherd Is Seeking You Out

 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.
 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. -- Ezekiel 34:11-12 (KJV)
When I heard this read I almost thought it was a passage from one of the Gospels.  Yet, it's from the Old Testament prophet, Ezekiel.
I think about all the people in tough straits this year.  Like little scared sheep hiding under a bush rustled by the wind they hide.  Huddled uncertain from where their next meal is coming, wondering whether they will have a roof over their heads, lost in the maze of mental illness, or even more simply just blue or sad over the approach of the holidays and God comes seeking.  No matter where you might find yourself hiding, God actively seeks you out to deliver you from the dark cloudy space in which you find yourself.  God is not seeking you out for reprimand or criticism, but God places you over His shoulders and walks you right out of the darkness into the light of security and protection.  That is the nature of God's love, and how God's character of His shepherding is.

As Thanksgiving nudges itself closer let yourself have some grateful moments where you listen for the Shepherd's voice calling you out of wherever you're hiding yourself.  Recollect that God's hand appears to hold yours when things are awkward, hard, scary, uncertain, challenging, or empty; you only have to take it and give thanks.

Gentle Shepherd of our souls, allow us not to live in the blind delusions of self-imposed exiles from you.  We lift up to You whatever has befallen us and pray Your strength and healing to be present for us in strong and certain ways.  In Christ's abiding presence.  Amen.

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