Failing & Falling
There are times when I feel like I’m failing or falling behind because my life isn’t following a certain timeline set by my own expectations, the expectations of others, and what is seen as normal and best by society and culture and even the church.
I start to wonder: Should I have? Did I take a wrong turn somewhere? Am I missing some sign or calling?
There is a fear that maybe somewhere along the way, I’ve missed God’s purpose and plan for me.
Have you ever felt this fear?
The times this fear tends to show up for me are when:
At times, I take these feelings of disappointment - whether it’s disappointing others, or being disappointed myself - and project them onto God: Have I disappointed Him? Am I failing Him? Do I fall short in His eyes?
Shepherd & Sheep
In the Bible, our relationship with God is often described using the metaphor a shepherd and his sheep.
Psalm 23 describes the character and caring leadership of our shepherd: “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.” (v. 1)
In John 10, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.” (v. 11)
In both of these passages the emphasis is on showing the character of the Shepherd - who He is; showing the will of Shepherd - what He desires for us; and showing the way of the Shepherd - how He leads those who follow Him.
In light of this, we see our need for getting to know the Shepherd as His sheep; we see our need for relationship with Him.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me.” John 10:14
As we get to know our Good Shepherd, growing our trust in Him, resting in His love and care, listening to His voice, following His leading, this is obedience in relationship.
“The sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:3-4