19 November 2011

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

This morning I beheld a rather interesting scene. I saw this maasai man walk past me. I could tell he was maasai because of his long pierced earlobes and his dressing. He walked past where I was. What actually made me notice him in the midst of so many people was the the sound of a lamb bleating.

He was carrying a bottle of milk. I imagined that must have been taken from an ewe. Right behind him was this little lamb that was following him up close. Following the lamb were two other sheep. What surprised me was that the animals were following the maasai man on their own accord. He did not need to coax them like usually happens. He was just this common man making his way around with three sheep following him in a city estate. Effortlessly.

That scene will not leave my mind for a while. I wish I could have had time to ask that man why the sheep follow him so faithfully. Why there is no effort on his part. Why they trust him to follow him so. Could it be about the bottle of milk he carried? But that was no reason for the bigger sheep to follow too. In my own thinking, those sheep must know him well. He must be their owner. And that really got me thinking. I thought of the love the sheep must have for their owner. A love that is full of trust. They follow him where he leads because they know that he can do them no harm.

It was a picture of trust. I thought to myself, this must be the perfect picture of Jesus the shepherd and we the lambs. This must be the way he wants us to trust and follow him. Confident in his love and faithfulness. Knowing that no matter where the road leads he will take care of us. Doesn't matter that the road could sometimes get rough and unfamiliar. We can go along because he goes ahead of us! He is willing to take on anything that might stand up in our way. We are covered!

God ministers to us differently. I believe that scene this morning had such a powerful message to relay. That it is just fine to follow my shepherd. To follow where he leads me. Though often times I may not know what lies ahead of me I can still trust him to carry me along the difficult patches. That he understands more than I do how to handle different situations in my life. I am now looking at the 23rd psalm in new light. Because today served as a special reminder of the Lords commitment in leading those that are his.

How I pray that I will find strength to follow. To trust him with all that is mine. To not question but just follow. Knowing that no matter what I am safe in the father's arms. Because the good shepherd he is, he gave his life for me. I am bought with a price. He will take care of me! He will fight my battles for me.

A Psalm of David. the Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.
 He restoreth my soul; He guideth me in straight paths for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

09 November 2011

To love and to cherish

Cherish. Such a sweet word. It just rolls off the tongue. It holds deep meaning too when you cherish a person. With that comes nurturing as well as holding dear. No wonder this word was coined in the marriage vows.

It feels good when one knows that they are cherished. There is a good feeling knowing that you are of good value to another. It is a deep rooted desire of most ladies(did I hear all) to have someone cherish them. And with that comes the desire to have someone who to call your own.

Starts early in life too. I remember growing up we used to play the parent game. Complete family set up with a daddy and mommy and some unfortunate kids who were forced to do our will. Even at that age, we realised the importance of the roles played out and more often than not the mommy would be this easy girl who was approachable but could be stern at times. On the other hand daddy would be this little boy, who we'd manage to coax into the role.

Now then, it is rather disheartening listening to ladies nowadays actually go on about how they are not into the marriage thing. It is hard enough listening to them going on about how unreliable the brothers come these days. What I glean from the ladies is that they have no problem being on their own and only need the brothers to help them make a baby or two and soon they are on their way. If you ask me, I would rather one who has tried out a relationship that did not work out than just deciding mm-mm that's not for me.

Two problems present in this scenario. The children that come out of this are usually lost for lack of an identity. They do not identify well (if any) with the absent parent and thus one area in their development is not well defined. The other problem with this is that much later on this parent realises that they need companionship and usually this comes too late in life. You see, human beings are cut out for company and the more intimate the better.

For those of us who have made a life commitment the challenge is to continue to hold dear that who we are married to. Given, we could be tempted to take for granted that we have one who will always be on our side. But God in his wisdom appointed that we do not forget our responsibility to our beloved. And this can be expressed in so many ways.

It doesn't mean that the cherished one is without fault but we cherish them still. Not withstanding that they do not qualify some of the time. Or most. But just knowing that they are cherished is the oil to keep the commitment alive. Simply put it means that they will never be without the affection of the one that holds them dear. Now, if that is not such a lovely thing tell me what is.

If you cherish someone it means that you have deep love for them. Like a mother who cherishes a long awaited baby. Such a one will smother the little baby with so much love and affection. All her actions communicate just how much the baby means to her.

Or like a couple that has found lost love. When they come back together it is with so much zest and they find pleasure in rekindling their love for each other once more. This time, they are all set to make it work. And it usually does work well for them.

Same case with the teenage girl who learns to cherish her friends after falling out with them for a while. Usually the friendship is smothered with so much care it usually lasts so much longer after those formative years.

And so it is that for all relationships to work well we need to nurture them well. Only in the presence of this kind of commitment can we get the kind of warm feeling associated to those that we care deeply about and by extension share in the knowledge of God's love for us by providing such wonderful people in our lives.

01 November 2011

When all is said and done.

We all need someone or something to fall back on. This keeps us going and makes our lives bearable. We have a free will to decide what it is that we fall back on. Some people settle for the security of their wealth and jobs. Others go for family and friends. Yet others know that despite all that they are or may have, they need God to see them through this life. A wise choice, I might add.

It is amazing how much is achieved when one knows that they have backup. It is said that behind every great man is a woman. Not surprising too how much children who have the support of their families can achieve. It is all about having someone to look up to and back us up. Someone who inspires us and keeps our hopes in life alive.

I remember growing up thinking just how great my father was. I believed that he was the most knowledgeable person alive. That inspired me in so many ways to seek knowledge like him. I was amazed at just how much he knew. He still amazes me to this day. Even in my teens I thought of him as the strongest man around. The confidence in him made me go to lengths I would not have without the inspiration. I learned a great lesson growing up.

We all need someone to go along with us. Life would be meaningless without family and friends who make our days brighter. Even our workmates help bring in the variety of life. How much more those who share our Christian beliefs! The world would be one boring place without the all these people. It is amazing what a difference having company makes in our lives.

Most of us thrive in encouragement. It is the engine of most relationships we have. Someone who sees the positive in us and seeks to bring it out. That person who recognises our potential and seeks to bring it out. And we all need such a person in our lives. A mentor, a lifeline. It helps even more if it is one of a higher standing. This comes with security of knowing that we have one who will step in and take charge.

The life we are living nowadays is one that is so lonely. It is difficult juggling life's demands. In all this we need backup to go on. Someone to bring meaning to the demands and struggles of life. To pick us up when we are weary and worn. One who is strong enough to fight our battles. And stays with us when no one else will. One who understands when others don't. That one person who is ready to lay his life for us.

As Christians we are privileged to have a loving saviour who is also a friend. Satisfying too. We all need someone to really talk to in times of trouble. Even in happy times. One who knows our story well too. Such is the one who can tell our story well because they help us weave it too. And knows what is good for us even better than we do. Such a privilege to lay my life in the hands of a loving God. And surrender my all to him who is all knowing to mold me.