"Troubles From the Good Shepherd"
"The Lord disciplines those He loves." Hebrews 12:6
Despite troubles and sorrows we are still God's people through faith in the merits of Christ, who gained for us and freely gives us pardon for our sins. Yet we find ourselves asking, "If the Lord is good, why is it that I must endure hardship and pain?" It is not a sign that the Lord does not care, for "the Lord disciplines those He loves."
A traveler went to southern France, where many shepherds with their flocks could be found. He was sure he would find the shepherds leading their flocks to still waters and green pastures. But to his surprise he found many of them leading their flocks into rough and rocky places near the seashore. Many of the sheep stumbled and fell, and some were bleeding as a result of injuries sustained. Of course, the shepherd was there to give them help, but why was he leading them into such places?
A shepherd was asked this very question. He said, "We hate to bring our flocks into such places, but it absolutely necessary, for this is where they can get the salt they need; they lick it from the deposits on the stones from the ocean waters."
Do not all of us need the salt of God's Word to purify our spiritual wounds? The rough road taking us to it leads to the healing Christ.
PRAYER: Savior I follow on, guided by You. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996 (out of print), Concordia Publishing House. For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
Today's Bible Readings: 2 Chronicles 17-18 2 Corinthians 6
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