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Fear Not

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In the stillness of the night, a constant bleating is heard. The stress calls of a lost sheep wither away into the silence of the mountains. Once again the sheep has wondered from the group, and has been caught in the crater of a mountain. Hopeless, it lifts its eyes, only to meet those of his shepherd’s. Excitement shakes through the frail body of the sheep as it calls to its master. Tenderly lifting up the exhausted creature, and placing it gently on his shoulders, the shepherd whispers, “Fear not, my little sheep, for I left the herd behind, in immediate search for you.”

Standing before the Pharisees, Jesus told three similar parables. The first was about a shepherd leaving ninety-nine sheep in the wilderness, in search for the one he has lost, and when he finds it, he rejoices. The second is of a poor woman, who has lost a coin. She immediately pulls away all her furniture in search for her lost possession. When she found her coin, she called her friends to rejoice with her, for that which was lost, is found. The third is of a son, who leaves his father’s house in search of true happiness. He claims his inheritance, but squanders it in worthless living. When famine strikes the land, the only job that he could find was to feed the pigs. The hunger pains inside, drove him to eat the very slop that he was feeding them. Realizing how humble and low he felt kneeling over a trough, he remembered that even the servants of his father’s house have food to spare, and he had nothing. He made up his mind to go back to his father’s house as a servant, but when his father saw him from a distance, he retrieved the best clothes for his son, and killed the fattened calf in celebration of this beloved sons return.
Each of these parables deals with finding what was lost and the joy that floods the hearts of those who have found it. Jesus was using these parables as illustrations of His earnest search for us. Many times we fall away in our relationship with him. Yet, he goes out in search for us, and when we are found, He holds a mighty celebration.

The duty of the shepherd was to protect and care for his sheep. Though perils and dangers would lie ahead, the shepherd would risk everything, even his life to save his sheep. He would guide them down the right paths, which led to green, fresh pastures. He knew each one by name, and cared for them as though they were his children. The task of a shepherd was anything but easy: sleepless nights, and eventful mornings would lie ahead.

In the hardships of life, a constant crying is heard. The stress calls of a lonely believer wither away into the silence of her bedroom. Once again her heart has wondered from the safety and loving arms of her Father, and has been caught in the crater of sin. Hopeless, she lifts up her prayers, only to hear the voice of the Lord saying, “Fear not, my precious daughter, I have heard you calling me. I love you more than any other thing I have made. Rest easy in my loving arms; I have come after you, earnestly seeking your heart.”

Though I fail, and ride through the rains and perils of life, God is riding beside me, ready to take the reins. He isn't going to leave me because He is bored of me, because we had a fight, nor because I have failed him over and over again. He only pulls me lovingly to him and holds me in His warm arms while we ride together in the rain. God doesn’t promise a smooth passage, but he does promise a safe landing.
 
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