I had intended to write my thoughts on John chapter 10 early this week…well…that didn’t happen. Though I am now studying in chapter 12, I have gotten behind on posting my thoughts on the chapters I have studied.
Chapter 10 has one of my absolute favorite verses in the Bible. I have to remind myself of it every day of my life because I have a tendency to let the evil one rob my life of joy as I handle the day to day problems that come my way. For some reason, my mind forgets the promise of John 10:10 (NKJV) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Early this week I had intentions of writing more about that aspect of my life. . . my tendency to focus on problems instead of blessings and thus be robbed of joy. However, today is Mother’s Day so my mind has been doing a lot of thinking about my role of ‘momma.’ Today as I read chapter 10, I was reading it as a mother.
This afternoon I made a Mother’s Day request. I wanted all four of us to lay in bed together before Sunday afternoon naps (well now it is just the parents who nap!) and let me read a book (of MY choice) to them.
The moral of the story of this book was that we need to daily pray for God’s blessing and protection in our lives. I used this as an opportunity to tell my kids that I daily pray for God to bless and protect them. I’m really not sure how well the moral was absorbed because as usual when we read before ‘nap,’ Joe fell asleep, Brooklynn lost concentration, and Caleb hung on my every word. I was left with two realizations. ……
First…we won’t be able to all fit in that queen size bed of ours much longer and second, even though I can try to protect my kids from the evil of this world…ultimately I must trust Jesus to do that. Though I can do a lot to protect them physically and spiritually, Jesus is the shepherd of their souls.
This Mother’s day afternoon, I am sitting alone in one of my favorite coffee spots enjoying a quiet afternoon as my hubby and kids play at home and cook supper (well…I’m hoping they have supper ready when I get back…I bought all the food and dropped a HUGE hint…but I have learned not to get my hopes up because it often leads to unmet expectations and well ….that is when the thief steals my joy!)
As I write I am remembering a simple drawing I came across early in the week that was an interpretation of John chapter 10. It was a picture of Jesus lying on the ground blocking the entrance of a sheep pen. There was no gate on the pen…Jesus WAS the gate at the entrance of the pen, protecting the sheep as they walked around safe and secure inside the pen.
This Mother’s Day I found great comfort in imagining my own children there with me and Joe as the sheep inside that pen and Jesus lying at the gate protecting ALL of us.
Though God has entrusted me with a lot of responsibilities as a mother, He has not asked me to be the Shepherd of their souls…He sent Jesus to be that. Only Jesus could be the perfect sacrifice. Though I have sacrificed a lot of things for my children, only the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross could provide what was needed to bring them salvation from the evil in this world.
I want to leave you this Mother’s Day with two of my favorite passages in the Bible
Isaiah 40:10-11 (NLT)
10 Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
I love the image created in this passage. As the sheep, we are all being protected in power and carried with gentleness. This passage brings great comfort to me as a mother, because I often try to be more than God calls me to be as a mother. I make what I think are HUGE parenting mistakes. I lose my temper. I forget to read the kids their Bible stories. I serve them hot dogs for supper three nights in a row J. I am so glad that my Jesus is protecting and carrying ALL of us even when I fall short of being the ‘perfect Christian mother.’
Though I am a ‘happy’ momma when my kids hear my voice and obey the first time, my greatest job as a mother is to teach them to listen to the voice of their shepherd……because as difficult as it is to admit…daddy doesn’t know what is best. Momma doesn’t know what is best. The Good Shepherd knows what is best for my children and is the only one who can provide them with the abundant life I long for them to have.
John 10:14-16 (NIV)
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me–
15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
May we all experience abundant life today as we strive to teach our kids to listen and obey the voice of our Shepherd.
Here’s a little piece of the abundant life I got to experience this mother’s day…enjoy!