January 14

January 14

“He putteth forth his own sheep.” John 10:4

“Oh, this is bitter work for Him and us—bitter for us to go, but equally bitter for Him to cause us pain; yet it must be done. It would not be conducive to our true welfare to stay always in one happy and comfortable lot. He therefore puts us forth. The fold is deserted, that the sheep may wander over the bracing mountain slope. The laborers must be thrust out into the harvest, else the golden grain would spoil. Take heart! it could not be better to stay when He determines otherwise; and if the loving hand of our Lord puts us forth, it must be well. On, in His name, to green pastures and still waters and mountain heights! He goeth before thee. Whatever awaits us is encountered first by Him. Faith’s eye can always discern His majestic presence in front; and when that cannot be seen, it is dangerous to move forward. Bind this comfort to your heart, that the Savior has tried for Himself all the experiences through which He asks you to pass; and He would not ask you to pass through them unless He was sure that they were not too difficult for your feet, or too trying for your strength. This is the Blessed Life—not anxious to see far in front, nor careful about the next step, not eager to choose the path, nor weighted with the heavy responsibilities of the future, but quietly following behind the Shepherd, one step at a time. (Streams in the Desert)

It is awe inspiring, but frankly not all that difficult to look back and detect divine grace in a sequence of events. The difficulty is anticipating divine presence moving steadily out front, beckoning us to follow. We tend to designate future events the great unknown, when in reality our Father has mapped it out and knows every nook and cranny. God is always previous. We will never venture a step on virgin soil; Father’s footprints are there if we search with our heart as well as our eyes. Do not allow the unknown to paralyze with fear. Question if you must—our questions even more than our answers validate that there’s more to this life than meets the eye—but do not hesitate. Do not waste time waiting on Déjà vu. Many endure each day attempting to recover something that was lost, the problem being we can’t determine exactly what it is that’s missing. Plunge headlong into what Father has prepared knowing that our God whose nature is love, will never allow that which is not best for us.

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