Tuesday, February 14, 2017

It's Good to be an Outcast!

The study day that I just finished was all about shepherds.  We are looking at the two "I AM" statements "I am the good shepherd" and "I am the gate."  In this we read all the way back to Genesis where the first shepherd was mentioned (Genesis 4).  We read about how Abel watched over flocks while Cain was a farmer.  Abel brought forth fat portions of some of his firstborns while Cain brought random sacrifices.  God showed favor on Abel's sacrifice, which made Cain jealous, and that jealousy in turn caused Cain to kill Abel.

We then read about David, who was "just a shepherd," being annointed as the next king, and then read in Ezekiel about "shepherds" (kings and priests) not taking care of their "flocks," and God stating that He will send one true shepherd to watch over all of His flock.

And then we read about how shepherds were the first ones to hear about Jesus' birth.  Lowly, outcast shepherds!  And finally, we conclude with Jesus' discussion with Peter about how he needs to give up fishing and to "Feed His Lambs," "Take Care of His Sheep," and "Feed His Sheep."  Jesus wanted Peter to be changed from a quick-judging fisherman to a caring shepherd.

Shepherds were the outcasts...the ones least likely to be asked to do anything important, and yet God used them over and over again in the Bible.  The resonated so much with me because in my town (often referred to as "the bubble), I often feel like such an outcast.  We don't have the money that many have, we don't take the trips that people take, we don't have the house that people have.  I also feel like an outcast at times because I really love being a part of my kids' activities...going to every sporting event.  But so many moms here just appear to think about themselves...they attend if it doesn't conflict with their social calendar.

Now don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change my situation or my priorities one bit, but that doesn't mean I don't feel left out at times.  Reading this made me feel so much more confident that God has, is and will continue to use me to do His work!  It probably won't be easy, but nothing good comes easily!


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