Text: John 10:1-42
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me”
– John 10:14, ESV
I went through a very dry and dark season when I wondered if God was out to get me. Everything in my life looked too good to be true, and I wondered if a great tragedy was about to befall me in order to balance the cosmic weights of justice. Fear was the language I understood and spoke most fluently. But, my fears were terrible theology cloaked in spiritual, righteous-appearing clothes. I constantly felt like the other shoe was going to drop, that God would cause something awful in my life to teach me a lesson or to challenge my devotion.
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever heard that whisper of fear that God’s love is capricious?
Now, I know this isn’t the way God works. He loves us and purposes good for us. Anything that happens to hurt us, that He allows, grieves Him because He is our Father. He is our Shepherd and desires to nurture us, to lead us, and to keep us safe. The brokenness in the world—the sin, those things can hurt us—they can absolutely level us. But God does not abandon us or forsake us.
It is true, He is good and He never leaves. Do you believe that?
To come to that understanding, I went on a year-long search for the meaning of the goodness of God. If I was to serve a God, I had to know that He was good. I needed to understand if I believed God was good, and what it even meant that He was good. I prayed more in that season that ever before. I steeped myself in the words of the Bible and the words of Christian men and women who came before me.
I intimately acquainted myself with the voice of my Shepherd, and soon I recognized that the Voice of Fear I was hearing was not the voice of my Shepherd but the voice of the Liar. I was allowing myself to believe things that simply are not in the character of my Heavenly Father, and He cannot act against His character. He is good and He is righteous and He has promised life to the full for those who trust in Him. He has promised to never lose us or leave us (John 10:28).
I am my beloved’s and He is mine. He knows me, and I know Him.
Do you know Him enough to recognize His voice?
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
-Isaiah 43:1, ESV