Turning over a new chapter

We’re in John 10, an old favorite about sheep. But today I got stuck on this verse: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

So today I had a lot going on. Some of it was not pleasant. I could feel my stomach churning. I called my husband at one point to let off steam. My mind got hooked into replaying a situation…always a bad sign. It wasn’t just one thing, it was several things…wham, wham, wham. Do you know what I mean?

Then it occurred to me. This is it. This is the thief. The thief’s here stealing my joy. Killing my peace. Destroying the concentration that needs to be focused on other things. This is exactly what Jesus is talking about: “The thief comes to steal…”.

But then as I keep thinking about it, I realize that I am the one who is the thief. I keep doing this to myself. All the time I steal away the abundant life that Friend Jesus is trying to offer. I drag myself into mire of anxiety. I destroy the time I have been given by worrying and trying to control the time I haven’t been given. I walk away from an opportunity to show love in a relationship. And because I keep doing such things, the good shepherd finally lays down his life for the sheep. Yes, he lays down his life for this bleating sheep.

Do you ever find yourself doing things that steal or destroy the abundant life our Friend Jesus is trying to offer us? It is good for me to ask: What pushes me not to trust God in a situation? What drains me and pulls me away from God’s life-giving energy?