Foolishness?

There was a young shepherd boy caring for his sheep at a sheep camp in Idaho. He wasn’t alone as he waded into the swift current of a stream. Others were watching the boy, curious because he was placing stones in the water. The young shepherd explained that his sheep were afraid of the running water and that he was building a dam so that the sheep would have a quiet pool from which to drink.

One of the onlookers commented how foolish he thought the sheep were and that if the boy would just force the sheep to drink from the running stream several times, they would no longer be afraid.

The boy only smiled and continued to build a dam for his sheep. He did not consider the fears of his sheep to be foolish. He knew that if one of his sheep slipped, its wool would become saturated with water and the weight could drag the sheep down to its death.

Did you agree with the gentle, quiet compassion of the shepherd?

Or did you agree with the onlooker?

Our Father, our Heavenly Shepherd, doesn’t laugh at our fears and anxieties. Even when there’s nothing to be afraid of, He is lovingly concerned about everything we hold in our hearts and minds.

It’s comforting to know that what we feel is never foolishness to Him.

As the shepherd boy loved and cared for his sheep, so does our heavenly Father love and care for us.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

(Psalm 23:1-3)

‘Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm.”‘ (Luke 8:22-24)

♥  ♥

All scripture – NKJV

Sticks and Stones

I’m honored to have writer, speaker, teacher, and friend, Jeanne Doyon, guest-posting on Everyone Has A Story this week. Jeanne’s post holds a message that every woman needs to hear and begins with a saying most all of us know by heart . . .

Jeanne writes:

Sticks and stones

. . . will break my bones but names will never hurt me.

Do you remember chanting this in self-defense as a child? I do and I need to tell you, it’s a lie!

For years I struggled with #insecurity—feeling ugly and awkward because I wore eyeglasses as a little girl. That may sound like an exaggeration now, but when fueled by other’s words it wasn’t then. I learned all about sticks and stones and experienced the hidden wounds they caused.

I began wearing glasses as a nine-year old and had a gym teacher who called me unkind names like, four-eyed-monkey-face. In junior-high my science teacher announced to the class that girls with glasses would never be asked out on dates.

I know; I’d like to give them a piece of my mind too!

Every little girl struggles with self-image and these callous comments only solidified the truth I saw when I looked in the mirror. I never seemed to measure up to the beauty I saw in others.

Years later as a young mother, I grew in my faith and relationship with God. During my prayer time one afternoon I sensed Him say, I love you and you’re beautiful—even your glasses. I have no idea where this came from, but as His words washed over my heart, I began to sob. Then a peace I can’t explain filled me as I sat in His presence.

God is such a gracious Father. I experienced healing that day and began a journey of seeing myself through God’s eyes rather than the eyes of others—a journey that continues to this day.

The older I get my past becomes clearer. The healing of my hurtful memories is part of learning who I am as a child of God. As I discover more about Him, He shows me more about myself and other areas that need His healing touch.

We all have events in our past that have roots to our present struggles. As we spend time in God’s presence, praying and listening, seeking Him through His word, then He uncovers hidden things and brings our brokenness into the light. Healing is the result.

As we share our story, others are encouraged and God is glorified. Romans 8:28’s truth of all things working for our good becomes a reality. Instead of the hurts being for harm, they become redemptive through the healing ways of God.

Everything that God has done for me gives hope to share with another person who struggles with a similar hurt. When I’m willing to share my brokenness, I’ll see His redemptive results. As I walk the path toward Christ-likeness, transparent about where I have come from, others will see an imperfect vessel touched by the Spirit of God.

Only Jesus Christ can heal and bring wholeness to our past. His desire is for our best and to take the areas of weakness and give us His strength. In our broken world Jesus offers healing for our heart through His Spirit who makes all things new.

The sticks and stones may have made their mark but the healing we find in Christ is transformative because of the wounds he bore on our behalf. The hurt doesn’t define us—it frees us to become all He has for us through the redemptive power of His life broken for us.

How has Jesus ministered to your broken places? Have you experienced His redemptive power?

Jeanne

Previously published on The Stream’s Edge, shared with permission.

About Jeanne Doyon:

Jeanne Doyon loves encouraging others to draw nearer to the Lover of their souls. She connects the Truths in Scripture to the ordinary events of life and shares her reflections on her blog at http://www.streams-edge.blogspot.com. Jeanne enjoys photography, tea with friends, creating with beads and looks forward to being a grandma. She and her husband, John enjoy their empty nest but wish their children weren’t so far away. Email Jeanne at jeanne.doyon@gmail.com and find out more about her speaking topics at http://www.jeannedoyon.blogspot.com

I love this quote from Jeanne’s speakers blog “. . . I am embracing what it means to balance living boldly for Him with complete dependence upon Him.”

Thanks, Jeanne, for sharing your heart, your story, and your encouragement with us.

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24 NKJV).