• 3 minute read •
There is a rural farming area in the North where the most intense blizzards used to hit during winter. People needed to have a rope tied from their homes to the barns if they wanted to survive these intense storms. If they tried to venture out without a tight grip on the rope, they would often wander to the point of freezing to death in their own front yards because of the blizzard’s severity… sometimes just a few feet within reach of the door!
Hearing this story, it’s easy to think, How could anyone be crazy enough to know about this danger and still attempt going outside without a tight grip on the rope… knowing it could make the difference between life and death? But then again, let’s think about the seasonal blizzards of our own lives. How often do we try to weather our storms alone? How frequently do we become frustrated at our circumstances, discouraged in the many struggles… only to attempt blazing our own path and stepping away from dependence on the Lord? If that rope was a lifeline for this farming community, imagine the lifeline God intended himself to be for us.
God goes by many names in the Bible, but one of my personal favorites that he’s revealed himself to be is the Good Shepherd. And here are some things to know about our Shepherd…
~ Psalm 23 ~
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his names’ sake. Even 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
So as we consider our blizzards and the Good Shepherd who is our Rope in every storm, we can find peace in the promises that:
- He leads.
- He guides.
- He restores.
- He is with us always.
- He comforts.
In both the literal blizzard above and the figurative storms of our lives, we have a constant choice to make concerning what we do with the Rope. When we dwell in the presence of God, we can trust that gripping this Rope will sustain us through the best of times and the worst of times. We can know that, “for his names’ sake,” the Rope is going nowhere. It’s simply up to us what we do with its presence.
We often train for end-of-game situations, scenarios where the winning team is the one who makes the last two free throws, or the five on the floor have to execute a last chance play for a buzzer beater to win the game. But why do we do this? We train for these situations because we know they’re going to come. We may not know when, and they may not even come often; but when they arrive, we want to be ready, because we know how crucial those moments are.
Similarly, we can know without a doubt that the blizzards of life are going to come. As John Wooden put it, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” So whether you’re facing adversity now or in between your storms, walk with the Rope and prepare for these moments. Make the choice today to seek the Lord and His presence continually. Trust Him, not your own understanding. Acknowledge him. Run to Him. Cling to the Rope, and He will make your paths straight.
Written by: Bonnie Durrett
3 Simple Joys
- Black coffee before anything else in the day, especially before speaking to anyone, including myself
- All the dogs
- Hearing others’ stories
- Traveling about anywhere, with a good book along the way
1 Favorite Passage
- But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10