SCRIPTURE: John 10:14 (TM)
I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me.
Dr. Andrew Bonar tells how, in the Highlands of Scotland, a sheep would often wander off into the rocks and get into places that they couldn't get out of. The grass on these mountains is very sweet and the sheep like it, and they will jump down ten or twelve feet, and then they can't jump back again, and the shepherd hears them bleating in distress. They may be there for days, until they have eaten all the grass. The shepherd will wait until they are so faint they cannot stand, and then they will put a rope around him, and he will go over and pull that sheep up out of the jaws of death. "Why don't they go down there when the sheep first gets there?" I asked. "Ah!" He said, "they are so very foolish they would dash right over the precipice and be killed if they did!" And that is the way with men; they won't go back to God till they have no friends and have lost everything. If you are a wanderer I tell you that the Good Shepherd will bring you back the moment you have given up trying to save yourself and are willing to let Him save you His own way.
Getting to know you,
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you,
Getting to hope you like me.
Getting to know you,
Putting it my way,
You are precisely,
My cup of tea. (from The King and I)
Within the biblical sense the word “know” has a deeper knowledge than mere head knowledge. Think about the relationship between the sheep and the Shepherd as intimate… personal, thorough, warm and friendly … it is a closeness that is reserved for ones soul mate.
So I am told that at the beginning of a relationship the hardest thing, especially the female, is to stand before her mate total and completely naked. The couple have arrived at a point of intimacy… no hiding… no covering up… no closets or doors or layers of clothing separating the two. That is the knowledge that the Good Shepherd would like to have with us.
Nothing stays hidden. No secret agendas. Totally and complete exposed. Everything is laid bare. All the flaws are revealed. No more covering it up, glossing it over. No more lies, half-truths, twisted reality – it all lies there on the floor before the altar of the Almighty… the “getting know you, getting to know all about you” syndrome of spirituality.
Are we ready for that deeper level? We might say yes, but is that answer honest? Actually, like the sheep in the Scotland story, we won’t reach that deeper level until we have followed all other options and opportunities. Not until we have no place else to turn. Hopefully we will begin the spiritual journey before we reach that point of spiritual desperation. Along this journey we will be diverted to try little things here and there that draws our attention away from the Good Shepherd. Remain faithful to the journey we will gradually peal away the layers until we stand before the Almighty totally and completely exposed and then we will know what it means for God to be “our cup of tea”.
Well, God, here we are again… taking off another layer… exposing ourselves a little more… we feel so vulnerable… so naked… but we so desperate desire your embrace… your love… your acceptance… your guidance… Boy, do we need your help!