Thursday, October 30, 2008

On Shepherding the Flock

Yesterday, I found myself neck deep in suffering. That's the lot of a minister. We're called to enter into the sufferings of others.

On any given day, I find myself facing a plethora of heartaches, struggles, and fears. Some days bring more than others. The last two days, it just seemed overwhelming.

Late yesterday afternoon, I wrote down all the different issues and sufferings that came across my path. There were so many hurting people. My heart broke for them. I carried these heavy burdens home. I dreamed about them last night. Even this morning, the heaviness was there.

In my early morning prayer, I brought all these issues to the Lord.

Then Jesus said, "You give them something to eat." (Mark 6)

"I can't possibly give these dear people what they need! I don't have enough!"

"What do you have?"

"Just a few small loaves -- just crumbs of energy and insight. Surely, not enough to meet these desperate needs!"

"Give them to me"

So, I lifted them up. I put them in the hands of Jesus. All my inabilities, all the burdens, all the sufferings, all the heartaches. I lifted them up and placed them in the hands of Jesus.

As soon as I did, an overwhelming JOY filled my soul! The Lord gave me an assurance that He loves his sheep more than I do. He knows all about it. He is present with them. He is their anchor, their strength and their song.

I don't have to carry all the burdens alone. Christ will carry them. (I Peter 5:7) My job is to stick close to the Shepherd: to pray, obey and stay out of the way.

The burden of love must never depart. It is always my responsibility to truly care for people.

This morning, however, I was reminded, that when I place it in Christ's hands, HE flows HIS love through me. Releasing, then, is not loving LESS -- but loving MORE!

I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! Bring it on!

3 comments:

Dave Quinn said...

Awesome post Mark. Really awesome. That is a keeper for me.
God Bless, Dave

Anonymous said...

"I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! Bring it on!"

I believe those were the very words uttered by Job. :0

Just Kidding
Jonathan

Kevin said...

Mark,
You are an inspiration and I love your humility and servant's heart.
May God Bless You!
Kevin