Have you ever been far from home? Whether serving in the military or going off to college, nothing takes away the feeling of longing for home. Yet, we have put a distance between ourselves and the Lord when we cuss, lie, cheat, steal, or lust. Our sin has created a chasm between us and our Heavenly Father.
So often we blame the “enemy”. Although he has his ways (and conniving ways at that), he cannot take the blame for our actions. He cannot answer for our sins. When it all comes down to it, we will all have to give an account for our own sins.
Though Satan can open the door, we sometimes walk through it without a simple hesitation. And just like that we find ourselves moving farther and farther from home.
It was once asked of me, “why do people who fall into deep despair find Jesus?” Well, the reason is two fold. One, Jesus once said, “He who is forgiven much, loves much” (Luke 7:36-50). For the second reason, consider if you can, the 23rd Psalm. In the latter part of verse 4, David writes, “your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” It is not exactly known when David wrote this Psalm, but this part of the Psalm needs further clarification.
The staff is used to guide the sheep. The rod exist to keep the sheep safe. However, it is not preached (because of how intense it sounds) that the rod is used to keep the sheep safe; even from itself. Middle Eastern sheep herders will do anything for their sheep.
The Lord Jesus said that a shepherd will leave 99 sheep just to find one. There are times when a sheep will wander too many times. Then the shepherd in his mercy will save the sheep from itself by using the rod (which is used to protect the sheep) to dislocate the knees.
Now, before you think of this as cruel and unusual punishment; witness then what the shepherd does. When the flock moves, the shepherd carries the sheep. When it needs a drink of water, the shepherd will give it water from his own cup. When it needs to chew the cud, the shepherd will take the cud from the ground, grind it up and serve it to his sheep.
Is this not the very perfect picture of grace? “All we, like sheep, have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6). In our brokenness the Lord will be our shepherd and will do everything and anything to keep us safe. Oh, but to know that we are part of the family of the God who keeps His children safe. You see, in our brokenness He carries us, feeds us, and serves us. He pours Himself onto us so that we can find rest (Matt 11:28) and refreshment (Acts 3:19). So that by the time we are ready to walk, we never leave His side.
You see, there are many of us who have lived through this. We urge you who are far from home; return to Him. And take it from us, He will return to you.