If this meme touches you, I’d be delighted if you share it with friends.
Thanks a bunch, Lisa!
By Lisa Are Wulf ~
Does this sound familiar? You’re chatting with a few friends. The conversation is lively with lots of opinions. But is anyone actually listening? It almost seems like everybody is so busy planning what they will say next that nothing is being heard.
Is it that our minds are already made up and we don’t want to hear alternatives? Or could it be that we’re pretty sure we know what each person will say, we don’t agree, and we don’t want to be bothered? Or have we just never really learned to listen?
Perhaps there is a spiritual lesson here. We like to think we’re special, but we need to come to terms with the fact that God works in everyone. So learning to stop and really listen not only honors God and the other person, but it changes us. We may not both agree, but showing reverence by listening can deepen our own Christian life.
How have you experienced this?
What have you lost? The longer we live, the more likely we are to lose something that matters to us. Some of us are only lightly touched by loss. Others bear great sorrow through significant, gut-wrenching pain. Yet loss visits us all.
One of the hardest losses to bear is the rejection of a loved one. Perhaps that’s because this person knows us intimately, but now chooses to be with us no longer. When the depths of our souls have been revealed in relationship, any parting of the ways cuts to the core of our existence.
A great loss can spin our world out of control. Our anchor is gone and we’re cast into space. Many times we don’t understand why. We just know the hurt is overwhelming. Still, when we open our eyes and survey the wreckage, a familiar figure sits perched on the ruins, beckoning us near.
Jesus was no stranger to pain and loss. He suffered just as we do. But there’s one loss he has promised will never happen—the loss of those who belong to him. He protects all the sheep in his fold. He binds up the wounds of those who are hurt. He heals all the bruises and gashes of life. The loving shepherd tends his flock.
What is lost must be found. But suppose we don’t even realize it’s lost. Perhaps we just feel deep inside that something’s missing. There’s a hole, but we have no idea how to fill it.
Often we find the missing piece by trial and error. We go one way and the door closes. We go another and the latch is locked tight. We keep turning knobs until one miraculously releases. Then we walk into a room where we’ve never been before.
Sometimes we have no idea what we’re looking for. All we know is we have to find it, so the hunt begins. Some of us search in books. Others look to healthy living. Many turn to movies and television. If we’re truly seeking to fill the emptiness, in the end we will be looking for God.
Still, finding him can be like driving through a dense fog. Even with our headlights on, we see only a few feet ahead. Yet with every mile we travel, the road ahead gets a little clearer. Eventually the fog will lift, and we’ll spot Jesus waiting just around the bend.