Thursday, February 07, 2008

Though a wife, I'm still a sheep.

Ez 34:1-24
"The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.
"Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.
The Lord GOD Will Seek Them Out "For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.
"As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and male goats. Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
"Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the LORD; I have spoken."

What a precious, beautiful picture. ~~~~~~~~~

I've always loved being a sheep......and yes, I know that they are foolish animals. I just love the thought of being a sheep with a big smile on my face skipping and singing as I follow behind Jesus....just knowing that I am safe and loved. He is patient with me beyond human capacity......always seeking me when I run, even in my running away because I'm hurting over not feeling worthy enough to be following Him with all the other sheep. Sure, it's have a pity party I mean.....but He always comes and scoops up my stupid broken little heart and tells me that all is NOT lost and that He will put the pieces back together with me. He helps me sort through it, how ever long it takes, all the while, gently convicting me by His steadfast love.
His love for his sheep has a power that breaks through the hardest of hearts when it is seen and known in the perseverence - it's magnitude is unspeakable.

Perhaps the trials that I'm finding myself in lately, in which I've found no comfort nor compassion from beloved brothers and sisters, but only somewhat harsh and open meant to bombard my heart to change how I myself meet with a broken hearted sinner.
Surely, someone who is broken and struggling with something does not need to be smacked upside the head with the LAW and told that even their struggle with sin is sin, but to be reminded of the tenderness and supernatural love of the Good Shepherd....
Praise God that there is forgiveness for the failures of men and that I know that the Lord is Sovereign even over the lack of compassion and help and comfort given............and that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt - that He is using this grief to mold MY heart - to get me desperate for Him alone, who perfectly loves.
After all, I've begged the Lord SO many times for Him to shape me into a loving and compassionate friend, wife and especially - a mother. (one day)
My own mother was an unbeliever, harsh and unfeeling and never comforted me when I was crying........(Her mother was the same with her).........and my plea to God has been that I would break this cycle for the next generation, and love and lead and nurture my children, telling them the truth, and grieving with them, and most of all - demonstrating the kind of love that Christ has shown to me. It seems that I'm feeling what I desire to prevent, without this experience, I don't think that I would know how NOT to approach a broken hearted sinner.

Knowing when and how to speak truth is just as important as being bold enough to speak truth. This is a huge theme in Proverbs, and anyone who knows me, knows that oftentimes I've been so black and white about a sin issue and pressed down on that without so much as a thought to weep with those who weep. This trial is a precious gift from God.
To my dearest friends who have suffered through my lack of compassion when you needed it most, I am so terribly sorry.

Praise the Lord for the trials we meet with, they are an answer to the prayer of Jesus, that we would be sanctified.

Love from the repair shop,


At 2/18/2008 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Picturing you as a skipping sheep with a big smile on your face made me smile. Heh heh. Love you, friend.

At 2/27/2008 9:19 AM, Blogger Joanna Martens said...

I love this jen. It's exactly how I feel sometimes. I feel so worthless, and unable to do the right thing... and it's true! But GOD!!! But God and His love covers that and gently shows me it's not about my ability, but about Him. When I accept His love and forgiveness I can be free, free to obey with joy, free from sin's captivity, free to serve and be a light. The minute i focus on my own sin, it's a downward spiral and leads to nothing but bondage.
God wants us to be free and resting in Him. One of my favorite verses is in 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is FAITHFUL and JUST to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness" What a promise!!!

Holding fast with you my dear sister,

At 2/28/2008 10:05 AM, Blogger Jen2 said...

Amen Joey.....Good word!


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