“My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.”
If there is one thing I remember during the infancy of the triplets…it is that sleep deprivation is torture. When we don’t sleep well it does not just impact our bodies, but also our minds and our souls. Scripture frequently reminds us of the importance of rest—in fact God created an entire day of rest. But the problem is that we are a society of “doers.” Like Jeremiah’s description, we are wandering sheep, roaming the mountains and the hills having forgotten our own resting places.
While a famous passage from another Old Testament prophet says, “We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us says turned to our own way…” What’s crucial in this passage though is to notice that it’s the shepherds who have helped to lead the sheep astray.
The shepherds, those charged with the nurture and care of the flock, have led them astray and caused them to roam the mountains. As a pastor, I take that accusation seriously. It makes me wonder, how am I overburdening God’s people with spiritual busy-work? What ways might I be leading people astray? Do we just wander back and forth over mountains and hills restlessly doing church without much thought or intentionality?
We will never find “rest” in the things of our own doing. We will never have enough money, respect, love, happiness…but we can believe Psalm 62’s promise: “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.”
Do you feel like you are restlessly wandering? Where are you going? What are you looking for? How might the Good Shepherd—Jesus—be leading you to His resting place?