When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.  – John 10: 4

As a parent, I love my kids.  Shocking, I know.  But because I love my children I have this desire to provide for them and protect them until they can do it on their own some day.  My kids know I love them, but I don’t know if they’ll ever understand how much.

Through Jesus, we know God loves us, but I’m not sure we’ll ever understand how much.

In John 10, Jesus is using shepherding analogies to help us understand who he is, and therefore who God is – and not just who God is, but what God is like, that is, the very essence and nature of God.

We know that a shepherd takes care of the sheep, but here in verse 4, it’s more than that.  The shepherd goes ahead of the sheep, to lead and guide them, to ensure the sheep get water and pasture, and safety – provision and protection.

Because God loves us so much, God wants to fill that role of providing and protecting us.  The only question left is will we follow where God’s love leads?

As I read these words, I am invited and challenged once again to trust the voice of The One wants to provide and protect me.  Am I listening to this voice?  Do I trust this voice more than I trust myself?  Do you?  It’s the voice of one who is wiser than we are and loves us more than we could ever comprehend.

Prayer:  Lord, your love is trustworthy.  Help me trust in you today more than I trust myself, my own strength, or my own understanding.  Amen.