As a teenager, or even as an adult for that matter, one of the hardest questions we can sometimes find ourselves asking is, “How could God possibly love me? He knows all my faults, my insecurities, my doubts…He knows everything about me.” We can feel like there is no possible way He could want us as part of His Kingdom. It’s actually quite the contrary though. God knows your heart and He also knows that evil lurks like a “wolf” among us, the “sheep;” so even when it creeps into our inner circle He is right there to lead us to safety. The bigger question might be, “Do you allow Him to be your shepherd?” This week’s Gospel is a call for us to remember that as our ultimate protector, the love He has for is never ending, without strings attached.
Quite often, we over complicate things in our life. We live in a world which wants us to be self-focused and always thinking about what is best for us. The irony is, what is best for us is to take the attention away our self-centered attitude and refocus on Christ who leads us where He knows we will flourish. Allowing Him to guide us is the trust we need in order to be taken to even greener fields than we are already in at the moment. No matter how imperfect we might be, how strong we think we are, or how great life is at the moment, we are nothing without God and we certainly will never fully know the way without Christ at the head.
Half the battle of living a faith-filled life is knowing where to look when we are scared, alone or simply need direction. Now is the perfect time in your life to form a relationship with the Lord who wishes to be with you through it all. A connection with Him which meets us directly where we are at this moment in our faith journey which prepares us for the longer road ahead. It is critically important for us to truly know Christ prior to “needing” Him. What I mean by that is, there are times in our life when nothing on Earth will be able to explain why we feel the way we do or more importantly no one person or no one material distraction will be able to cure the aches of our heart except God Himself. We must know Him before the “wolf” enters our field so we are not frantically searching to find Him in those moments.
We were never meant to live this life alone, and although God is always at our side, there are others who are called to journey with us as part of our flock. As Christians in the world, we must stick together as a herd, accepting all those who need to be part of our group which is continually being led home. It is only the most alert companions who can see the devil disguised as wolves often in the distance, who are looking to not only devour the weakest, but even more importantly to scatter the group. Remain strong in the Shepherd’s care for yourself and for each other by letting Him lead while listening to the call meant directly for you.