Monday April 20, 2009
When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:4-5.
This text is a poignant reminder of the eastern sheep who know instinctively whom they can trust. In the final analysis, it is not all the logical reasons why we may trust Christ for our lives and eternity—as supportive and helpful as they may be—but an instinctive knowledge of where we belong and whom we can trust that inspires faith. In Spurgeon’s morning devotional for today he says: “Death is no longer banishment, it is a return from exile.” Trusting in Christ is the beginning of the trip home, a return to the place that we were always meant to be.
Following Christ, as the sheep followed their shepherd, is the natural way to go, to reject him is as unnatural as a starving man refusing food. Whatever life brings us, we are safer in his hands than not, to turn away from him in times of distress is like cutting off a branch on which we are sitting. It will not necessarily change our situation—it may improve or it may not, but the peace that comes from a mind stayed on him is the greatest loss. We find this to be true as Ann and I move out of one adventure—our surgeries—and into the next, the distribution of our soon to be published book.
Following the removal of the final piece of mechanical equipment from my body and Ann’s final trip to her surgeon on Thursday, we are looking forward to a few years yet of opportunity for service. Ann completes her Political Science degree at Christmas this year, and I have a second book on the go with others lurking in the back of my mind. We are excited at the possibilities that a combination of theology and political science may conjure up as we face off against the secular thinking of our day. Our future looks promising and meaningful as we follow our shepherd and look to him for guidance and inspiration.