Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes. Isaiah 40:11
Do you keep a diary?
I’ve tried many times throughout my life to keep one but a couple days in I always forget to write in it. That’s why I have several diaries with the first couple pages filled out with 95% of it empty! But I like the idea of a diary. I’m intrigued with the thought of going back into it several years later and reading what I’d been up to. Now I kind of use my calendar as a diary. I write down what I do each day and I’ve kept my calendars from the last couple years. My dad used to do this too and it seems to work for me.
Recently I started rereading a yearly devotional that I had read about ten years ago. Next to each day’s devotion there was a place to write down your thoughts regarding what you just read. As usual I had only filled out the first couple months and the rest of them were blank. I had also used it as a diary of sorts writing down what my plans were for that day as well. It’s been fun to reread this devotional and then read what I was thinking and doing ten years ago. Today’s devotion talked about being God-centered instead of self-centered. How we should aim to please God and not the world. Rather than pursuing our own agenda and asking God to bless it, we should join the activities of God as He makes them known to us. I thought this is true and I reflected on how I often pray “Lord use me today. Open my eyes to your activity around me and use me.” I also thought about how many times I do seek my own agenda and ask God to bless it instead of the other way around.
Then I decided to read what I had written ten years prior. I literally laughed out loud! I had written “I am going out to the club with friends. God help me to not be self-centered but God-centered.” Obviously I was a woman of few words back then! But what struck me…what I can read between the lines that may not be obvious to others….is the great divide from who I was and who I longed to be. Back in my “club days” I was definitely living by my own agenda. Was I being obedient to His word? No. Was I going to church? No. But I was seeking God. It’s the reason I was reading that devotional in the first place.
A few things occurred to me after reading what I had written.
First, sometimes we go through life and forget where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. Even though I’m not the same person who wrote that, I instantly remembered that person I used to be. I was being sincere in wanting to be God-centered. I prayed and often asked God to show me a sign if this or that was the right or wrong decision. Yet there was an obvious disconnect between my thinking and the reality of the situation. I was comfortable with the sin in my life and I didn’t think it mattered. My relationship with God was surface level and self-centered but I had a heart that was open to Him.
Second, I don’t ever want to forget that person who was living away from God but still seeking Him. There are people right now who are in that place. They are looking, asking, yearning, reaching, praying, and wondering about God and how He fits into their lives. They need our compassion, grace, love, testimony, and prayers as God brings them into his fold.
Third, I was reminded of how gracious, merciful, faithful, and loving God is and has always been. He sees us in our sin, in our dark place, hidden from His truth. He sees us searching for Him. And lucky for us, He is the good shepherd and goes out looking for His lost sheep.