A Tether of Love

"I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man will run when he sees a wolf coming and will leave the sheep, for they aren't his and he isn't their shepherd. And so the wolf leaps on them and scatters the flock. The hired man runs because he is hired and has no real concern for the sheep.

"I am the Good Shepherd and know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. " John 10: 11-15 (TLB)

John Archer lives in Florida. Living on a farm can be a dangerous place for a three-year-old boy. When John's mother was working outdoors, she would clip the strap of his overalls to the clothesline so John wouldn't wander off. She showed her love by devising this contraption for his protection. John could jump and run up and down the line and still be safe from the deep waters of the nearby irrigation ditch.

This and similar memories of his childhood always reminds John of God's love. Unlike his mother's clothesline tether, God gives us overflowing love by allowing us free will. We can choose to stay close to God or walk in our own direction. At times, we all have chosen our own way and suffered inevitable consequences. Yet God is still there, loving us back into relationship.

Each of us can step into this day filled with trust in God's promise of protective love. God will never leave us or abandon us; and if we are willing to listen, God will direct our steps.

Prayer: Dear God, help us each day to seek and follow the guidance we find in your word, in Jesus' name. Amen

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