After my conversion, I was plagued for many years by the temptation that somehow or another I would lose my faith or turn my back on God again or choose the misery of life-according-to-me as opposed to the freedom of the Children of God. Whether this temptation came from the world, the flesh or the devil was pretty much beside the point because it had the power to disturb my daily peace until a dear friend pointed today’s Scripture reading out to me. After a prayer meeting one evening, he showed me John 10: 27-30 in which Jesus assures believers that,
“The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice;
I know them and they follow me.
I give them eternal life;
they will never be lost
and no one will ever steal them from me.
The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone,
and no one can steal from the Father.
The Father and I are one.”
I memorized those verses and have returned to them over and over in times of trouble. Most recently at the beginning of this year when another dear friend had a mental image of the Good Shepherd while praying with me. These words of Jesus to those who follow him and know his voice offer consoling assurance today, the Fourth Sunday after Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday. Let’s take them to heart and to prayer today and rest in the fact that, come what may, we cannot be removed from our Shepherd’s care!