"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; 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."
I fell in love with Jesus when I was quite young. I was only nine years old at the time my father passed away. It was one of the most influential tragedies of my life. He was a young man, barely 40 dying of a cerebral brain hemorrhage. I was walking home from piano lessons that day, and as I turned the handle of my back door, I peeked through the window and noticed my father was lying faced down on the kitchen table. What ensued was a whirlwind of terrified phone calls and a patty wagon to pick him up since there were no ambulances available that day. Later that evening, as my Uncle Johnny came home with my mother, his desperate red eyes permeated my brain while he listened to his sister-in-law gently tell four children their father would not be coming home.
I felt as if the bright lights of life were just turned off. My childhood experiences of day adventures and winter trips to Florida had just died off. My mother was alone, confused, and frayed wondering what to do with this family of youngsters now totally dependent on her.
I felt her loneliness and emptiness and turned myself over to Jesus. There, at that moment, I believe he found me, wrapped me in his arms and shed a warm's summer day light into my darkened life. In the sadness and quietness of those days I felt his presence always. I'd walk to out to our postage stamp size yard and sit perched like bird staring at the sky. Rays would reach out warming my face as I began to feel his words form in my heart and mind. Those words would guide me through other traumatizing situations and always keep me at peace in a life that was swirling. He was the Good Shepherd back then keeping me with his flock. He is still my Shepherd today as I know whenever I reach out to him he is always there. I can still feel him now as I did on those first few moments as a child.
It's so important to remind yourself of God's glorious love. God loves you today. He wants you to know and experience his Good Shepherd. He does not want you to be alone and has come to give you a good life in abundance. Find your heart meshed with Jesus. It has always been there, you just need to sit quietly and let it envelope you.
Lord Jesus, thank you for being
my Good Shepherd. Thank you for
giving me a more abundant life in your
presence. I pray that I experience you
today and everyday close to my heart.