It was the moment I knew would come. There was the drip, drip, drip of some poor choices and a consequence of some magnitude was not far away. The standard of behaviour was well known. There really wasn’t an excuse. But there was that desire, a need, to test the waters. What will happen if ___?
Why have you rejected us forever, O God? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture? Psalm 74:1 (NIV)
You walked off and left us, and never looked back. God, how could you do that? We’re your very own sheep; how can you stomp off in anger? Psalm 74:1 (MSG)
I do the very same thing with my Heavenly Father sometimes. I make choices that are not His plan and desire for me. They might be choices that don’t seem to matter a whole lot on the surface. But when it comes to the obedience of my heart, the choices matter in a huge way. Once the choice is made and acted on its impossible to undo. I wish life had an undo button but it doesn’t.
Then I experience the love and care of my Father. It doesn’t really feel like it in that moment. But it is a loving Heavenly Father who lets me experience the results, even fallout, of my choices. I imagine He shrugs His shoulders while thinking “This is what you chose.” In my moment of sheep-ness, I get to live with the results.
I know God has a better plan. I know His way is perfect. So why, why do I make choices that completely flaunt His knowledge? Why do I choose my own way which often leads me to places I don’t even want to be?
My God gives me the choice. I can choose to walk in His way. It’s a narrow road. It’s twisty and unusual. Not many people are on the road with me. Or I can choose the wide road. There’s lots of people here. It feels comfortable, even good. It seems to be smooth, few bumps on this road. But it’s a road that doesn’t lead me where I would really like to be. It’s a road that leads me to destruction. (Matthew 7:13, 14)
Has God really rejected me? No. He is very present. But He knows how much of a sheep I am. I need to be listening constantly for His voice. A good sheep knows His shepherd’s voice. I need His tender care and protection. The shepherd leads His flock to places of good pasture and still water. I need His attention because I easily find myself in places where I wasn’t meant to be. The shepherd is constantly looking at His flock to help protect them against predators, pests and disease. Sometimes, this all seems invasive – I can do this on my own. But, I am really desperate to have the Good Shepherd care for me. I make better choices when I consider Him. I live more fulfilled when He is in control. He may be moving quietly, but my God is the One who calls my name and His love is more than I can ever fathom.