“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”–John 10:10-11 (ESV)
Life has felt very full lately. Between house projects (which have caused disarray, mess, cleanup, shopping, and schedule changes), celebrations, and times of activity and relaxation, the last week has passed and I am not sure where the time went.
Although life has felt very full, I recognize some things have taken the back seat. My prayer time with God and blogging have been reduced, and I have had many distractions, which has made it difficult to concentrate on spiritual things.
There is a beautiful passage of Scripture in John 10 where Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd. He describes how he, the shepherd, enters the sheep pen through a gate and how the sheep (his followers) listen to his voice. He calls them by name and leads them out, and then he goes ahead of them and they follow, because they know his voice. He contrasts that with a hired man who is a thief and robber, intent on stealing, killing and destroying the sheep, and the sheep do not listen to his voice, but in fact, run away. The part I really like (besides Jesus knowing my name) is where Jesus says “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Some translations say “have it in abundance.”
I am convinced that having life in abundance with Jesus is different than what I experienced these past days. God has given me blessings of joy, belonging, creativity, friendship, and a host of other interesting experiences this past week, but distractions have won out and I have drifted away from his voice. I can enjoy the blessings, but I am a sheep ready to return and listen again.
Have you been distracted by life lately? I know I long to return to the sheep pen gate to hear his voice and follow him, and you can too. As his sheep and precious children, I know he will welcome us back, call us by name, and lead us to where we are supposed to go. Give it a try this week!
Prayer- “Gracious God, sometimes I am a wayward sheep, wandering off from you. I confess that I need you in my life again, and wait to hear your voice. Thank you for your promise of an abundant life, a life full of you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”