I'm telling you right now, this animal is D-U-M dumb. 

Every summer there is a massive sheep drive up the road in Bayfield Colorado near our camp, KIVU.

And every year, I'm amazed at how un-intelligent these animals really are. 

They run into cars.
They dive into the ditches
They follow each other with no regard for their own personal survival. 
It's astonishing.

So as I read the Bible and hear the analogy of sheep, I often ask, "Who is the writer referring to? Is it the Jews?  Is it the church?  Is it people who are in sin as the previous chapter would refer to?  Or is it me?"

As I trek through Matthew, I come across another passage that show's God's amazing love toward humanity. 

do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders
away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for
the one that wandered off? And
if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one
sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. (Matthew 18:12-14)

I've seen a hundred sheep. 
It's a massive event. 

They stop traffic.
They take forever, because none of them really know where they're going.
They run into each other.

So what would be the big deal if one of them just wandered off?

I mean come on…

You have 99 left over. Right?

But God knows, that the wandering of humanity is intrinsic to our nature. 
We all have wandered to God, away from God, and some still search for the voice of a Father.  

It's like an oscillating event, right? It seems good one day, but then tragic the next. 

I've come to resent that oscillation, because I want to sit with the very heart of God.
I want to know Him intimately.
I want to serve humanity in a way that honors the beauty of the gospel. 

But dark times come.

Let's be honest, even Mother Teresa lived a life of ultimate sacrifice as she served the dead and dying in Calcutta; but after her death her memoirs were underlined with doubts. 

… in a letter to a spiritual
confidant, the Rev. Michael van der Peet, that is only now being made
public, she wrote with weary familiarity of a different Christ, an
absent one. "Jesus has a very special love for you," she assured Van
der Peet. "[But] as for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great,
that I look and do not see, — Listen and do not hear — the tongue moves
[in prayer] but does not speak … I want you to pray for me — that I
let Him have [a] free hand."
(TIME magazine. Aug. 23 2007)

Mother Teresa?

I don't know of a human more influential in the last century as an advocate for the love God has given us here on the planet. 
If anyone on earth was close to the Shepherd, surely it was Mother Teresa?  Right?

I think the struggle she had as she wandered in her faith gives me confidence when I wander in mine. 
When I have doubts, Mother Teresa's life serves to secure a confidence that even the most Godly have times in the desert of their spiritual journey.

For it was Mother Teresa who also said, "It is not enough for us to say, 'I love God, but I do not love my
neighbor,'" she said, since in dying on the Cross, God had "[made]
himself the hungry one — the naked one — the homeless one." Jesus'
hunger, she said, is what "you and I must find" and alleviate. 
Finally, she suggested that the upcoming Christmas holiday should
remind the world "that radiating joy is real" because Christ is
everywhere — "Christ in our hearts, Christ in the poor we meet, Christ
in the smile we give and in the smile that we receive

So what gives me hope…

Hope is…

There's a shepherd that continues to search after my wandering soul.
He has come to make all things new, and all things right, and He alone can comfort me in those dark silent times. 
His presence can be seen when helping the poor.
His voice can be heard in the silent times of solitude.
His 'AHAVA' love means He's willing to chase after my wandering heart.

That's a Father's Love!


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