The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:10-11).
I had my head down trudging along a jogging path while worrying about a church problem. Then, as topped a hill, I suddenly found my head directly in the path of a low flying and rapidly approaching goose.
I instinctively dodged right, but the goose ducked to his left, keeping our noggins on a collision course. Then, as people describe car-crash experiences, I felt everything go into slow motion. I watched the approaching goose tweak his tail, lift his leg, and twist his body, so that he veered over my shoulder with outstretched wings grazing the top of my head.
Once I got over the shock of the near crash, I got amused at what had almost happened. “Man,” I thought, “wouldn’t that have been a way to leave this world. I can see the headlines now, ‘Preacher taken to heaven by a goose.’” I began to laugh out loud.
Then, I realized what my Good Shepherd had done. Knowing that I had been near despair with worry, God had sent a migrating goose from hundreds of miles north to fly low over that hill at the very moment I would reach the top. Then, contemplation of God’s amazing power and timing would so reassure me of his love that I could laugh in the midst of worry – and carry on with renewed faith.
We entrust our eternities and everyday lives to our Good Shepherd because Jesus came with perfect timing and love, laying down his life to prove he will protect our paths.
Jesus, because you are the Good Shepherd who cares for his sheep, help me to trust you for the eternal protection that you know is best to keep me walking (or jogging) your paths.