As an example of the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus told the story of a shepherd who left 99 sheep and went in search of the one that was missing. It’s not that the wayward sheep was more valuable than the rest, but the man was responsible for them all and didn’t want any to be lost. At that moment, the need of the one was more urgent than the need of the many.
The shepherd made the right choice, to focus on the one.
Sometimes we don’t choose as wisely.
There can be 99 good things in our lives, and one negative, and how often do we focus on the one?
The failure. The fear. The imperfection.
One thing takes on more importance than 99 others and tips us from gratitude to despair.
It may be an area of weakness where God would like to make us stronger: a temptation we need to resist, or a responsibility we haven’t been meeting very well. Something we need to acknowledge and then prayerfully cooperate with God as He continues shaping us into the reflection of His Son.
God brings it to our attention to help us. The enemy of our souls points, mocks, accuses and demeans. We know which voice is healthy, but too often we listen to (and agree with) the poison.
Or maybe the “one thing” is something we can’t control or change: our smile, our shape, the pitch of our voice. Something we think makes us less than we long to be.
The Bible says we’re God’s handiwork and that His “workmanship is marvellous.” Our enemy says we’re defective. And fear makes us believe the liar over the Lover.
You are not defective. You’re designed by the Creator of the universe, and He loves you. (Click to tweet this.)
In the good things and in the bad, we need to keep our focus on the God who rescues and restores. Let’s remember His power and His character, and trust His plans for our lives. Let’s learn to walk in His strength and to recognize and reject the lies of our enemy.