Facing the Wolf

This morning a good friend, at least I call him one of my good friends, read a devotion during our prayer group.  The devotion was called “The Good Shepherd.”   As he was reading, I remembered the parable of the Lost Sheep and I thought about the sheep as it was caught in the brambles, facing the hungry wolf who was ready to devour it.

You see, the sheep didn’t purposefully wander away from the protection of the shepherd.  The sheep was simply doing what sheep do – it was eating grass and trying to find the best grass it could.  In searching for the best grass, the sheep wandered away from the flock.  The flock was too busy eating to notice that the sheep was getting further and further away.  Soon the sheep sort of “wakes up,” looks around and realizes that it doesn’t recognize it’s surroundings.  The sheep get scared a little and panics and tries to run to familiarity – but alas!  The sheep gets tangles in some brambles and can’t get out.  The more it fights, the more stuck it gets.  Then it sees the wolf – the hungry wolf.  The sheep is face to face with it’s enemy and there is no way out…

The wolf’s attack started long before the sheep ever saw it though.  The wolf’s attack started when the sheep was still in the safety of the flock.  The wolf saw the sheep as it looked for the tastiest greenery.  The wolf stalked the sheep as it slowly wandered away.  The wolf stood on the edges, ever lurking, ever waiting for just the right moment.  The wolf crouched down, hidden, as the sheep wandered further and further away. As the sheep got scared and panicked, the wolf came closer.  The wolf was in sight, but the sheep was too scared to notice him.  The wolf chased behind the sheep as it ran and got tangled and stuck.  Then the wolf showed his face.  He was hungry and this one sheep was no longer safe…

In my Christian walk, I am much like this sheep.  So many times I wander away from the Good Shepherd.  I don’t intend to.  I don’t do it on purpose.  I’m trying to do the right thing.  I’m trying to make the right choices.  I’m trying to do what is God’s Will.  I’m trying to take in the Word, have a life filled with service and love.  In doing so, I often get distracted from what is really important.  I do the “stuff,” I follow the “rules,” but I forget the importance of spending intimate time with my Father.  I keep looking for the “greener grass” that life with Jesus has to offer and I forget that the “greener grass” is a life spent in intimate communion with him.  Just as I start to feel the panic, feel scared that I am once again in the grips of the Enemy, when I feel his breath and hear his growl…

…but then the Good Shepherd steps in.  He stands in the way of the wolf.  He steps in front of His lost sheep and takes the hit.  “The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”  The wolf thinks he has won.  Wrong.

The Good Shepherd, my Savior Jesus Christ, did take the hit for us.  We have all made choices that have led us to points where we’ve gotten stuck, trapped in hurt, sadness, pain and destruction.  Those are the consequences for our choices.  Jesus stepped in front of us, however, and laid down His life, took the attack of the Enemy, for each of us.  But if the story ended there, there would be no hope.  The hope comes in the form of our Risen Lord.  For after He died, Jesus defeated death.  He rose from the dead to give us the opportunity to defeat the Evil One too. 

We can only escape the snarls of death, however, when we admit that we are the ones who wandered away, who made choices to sin.  When we admit that, we are free to accept the gift of Salvation.  We accept the gift of our Good Shepherd and run back to Him and the safety of the Body of Christ. 

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they  shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27, 28, NIV)

Published by Kris

Jesus follower, racing wife, mom of seven, United Methodist pastor... Trying to live a life worthy of my callings.

2 thoughts on “Facing the Wolf

  1. It is so easy to get trapped by following the rules and doing the right things. Time with Him is paramount. Excellent job!

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