17 May 13
I have not met a single person so far that was not hurt in some way. Granted, some are walking around carrying a lot more pain than others, but all of us have been hurt physically, emotionally and spiritually. I believe that this should be one of the first lessons we learn growing up because the enemy, scum sucking dirtbag that he is, isolates us by making us think that no one else has ever felt the way we do. Whether you were abused by friends, family, or complete strangers, his goal is to get you away from the flock. One of the ways he does this by allowing the pain in us to fester, to rot, to ferment into a heady brew that he can use to inspire us to the selfish pursuit of doling out pain to others so that we won’t be so alone. Even if we are pushing others away by our actions, at least we then know that we aren’t alone in feeling that pain.
So what ends up happening, unless the Shepherd steps in, is that there are lone sheep dotting the landscape, heads down in shame and guilt and frustration, plotting revenge on the other sheep that they feel hurt them. Meanwhile, the wolf feeds on these solitary sheep at his leisure.
Thankfully, the Shepherd is aware of the wolf, even if most of the sheep are not. There are times when He steps in directly to save a lost sheep and return them to the fold. Then there are the times that he whistles up a sheepdog or two to face down the predator and herd the lost lamb back home. Either way, His hand is at work tending to His sheep. Sometimes the sheep think they know better, and soon enough they are right back to actively seeking to serve up a platter of chops to the wolf. And sometimes even a sheepdog gets pulled down by the wolf pack. Both are prone to make bad choices when they go their own way, thinking they can handle the wolves on their own. And sometimes even when the dogs are working in the Shepherds will, they take wounds in their never ending battle against the rapacious wolf pack.
I’m with Cristy at Camp Garner Creek, our Nazarene District Campground and Retreat Center tonight. This weekend is the Warrior Weekend Retreat where our church in partnership with some others is attempting to help in the healing process of some of those noble sheepdogs that have been wounded physically, emotionally and spiritually in the war against the wolf packs of the enemy. This is the third of these retreats, and the second that Cristy and I have been able to assist with. We are praying for miracles in healing and restoration for these soldiers, their spouses, and their children. All have been affected by the ongoing struggle against evil, and some are seriously wounded. All can be healed by the Lord our God, the Good Shepherd. All can find redemption and peace at His hands.
Pray for this effort, and the people that are here to experience Him. Some for the first time, others that desire to reconnect. God with us.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.