Peace from the Shepherd

MJOF-DevotionsDAY THREE: ADVENT – Peace from the Shepherd

“Daddy, I’m scared.”

The father pulled the tiny balled-up fists from the child’s eyes and wrapped his strong hands around them. “I’m right here. Tell me why you’re frightened.”

“I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

“It’s going to be fine. I promise.”

“But, how do you know?”

“I know because I’ve already been there. Rest now.”

Our family knows how the child felt. Four years ago, my grandson, Gage, was diagnosed with leukemia. The discovery came fast. In just a few days, Gage went from not feeling well to a trip to the local hospital emergency room. From there, to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock, AR, and finally to St. Jude Children Research Hospital, Memphis, TN.

Those early days were filled with fear and confusion. I remember my daughter, Melanie, walking into the waiting room at the Little Rock Hospital.

“I can’t do this,” she cried out.

That’s how we all felt. We didn’t know what the next day would bring. The doctors and nurses were calm and professional. They assured us Gage would receive the best possible care, but the many questions and unknowns were unsettling.

Soon, a treatment plan started coming together, and although no one offered a guarantee, an unexplainable peace settled over us as we decided to go with the advice of the doctors. In the midst of the crisis, agreeing to focus on the recommendations brought stillness and order.

Six weeks later, Gage was in already in remission and home from the hospital. It was the Thanksgiving holiday. Holding to tradition, one of the grandchildren was to read a scripture verse for the evening meal prayer. It was Gage’s turn.

He didn’t just read. He sang from Psalm 100! “…Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. … Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.”

As the Psalm states, we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. We don’t know what comes next, but the Shepherd does. Acknowledging his leadership brings perfect peace.

 

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

John 16: 33 NLT

Melissa Kirk