SCRIPTURE: John 10:14 (TM)
I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me.
STORY as shared by Ray Ellis:
David Redding tells of having a big, black Scottish shepherd as a pet when he was growing up on a farm in the country. He named the dog Teddy and they became inseparable companions. Teddy would wait on him to come home from school at the bus stop. Teddy slept at the foot of his bed. Teddy came whenever David whistled a tune. During the night, no one could get within a half mile of their farm without Teddy’s permission. The boy and his dog were inseparable.
Then World War II came and David went away to war. He told his family good-bye, but there was no way to tell a dog you were going away and might never come back.
David Redding went away to boot camp and then was shipped overseas for three years. Finally, the day came when he could go home. The last bus stop was 14 miles from the farm and his parents didn’t have a phone. He simply threw his duffle bag over his shoulder and started walking.
It must have been two o’clock in the morning as he neared the farm. It was pitch dark, but he knew every step of the way. Suddenly, the dog heard someone on the road and began to bark. David said, "I whistled only once and Teddy stopped barking. There was a yelp of recognition, and I knew that a big, black dog was running toward me in the darkness. Almost immediately, he was there and in my arms. He knew me. He recognized me. He loved me. Even after three years, he recognized me and loved me."
Whenever there is a recognition of love, there is joy.
Sunday has come and gone. Monday – those dreaded Mondays – has arrived. Another week stretches before us. Just a combination of days filled with the same routines and responsibilities. Who will recognize us? Who will turn our days into meaning? Who will uncover our inner doubts and frustrations? Who really, really knows us in the dark? Especially in the deepest recesses of our soul where the cobwebs of painful memories linger?
Does someone or something know us? If we whistle in the dark is there anyone who will hear us … come to us … recognize us … love us? Anyone?
The Good Shepherd is always there. Do we trust him with our life? Are we inseparable? The Good Shepherd knows us better than we know ourselves. Is his love for us sufficient for us to make it through another week of Mondays? Is our relationship with him strong enough to bring us joy?
Welcome to another Monday and to the rest of our life! The Good Shepherd heard us coming even before we took the first step. The Shepherd has been waiting for our return home with only the deep that the Shepherd has for us. Good morning good old Monday. We’ve never been here before. What a nice surprise to find the Shepherd preparing another full week of days just for us.
The Good Shepherd will make this week anything but routine. It is going to be a joy-filled, blessed week. Good morning Shepherd thank you for being in our days … in our sleeping … in our waking … in the mundane … in the unexpected … in the bright sunlight … in the darkness of our darkest midnights … in the open spaces … in our confined spaces of our fears … in our happy moments … in our depression … in our victories … in our defeats … good morning Shepherd thank you for welcoming us into another week of living! Thank you for recognizing us!
While Jesus we do not always acknowledge you and love you in return, we are ever thankful that no matter what you are waiting for us at every turn in our life!