While we’re busy mobilizing and leading others, how can we help our own children grow a heart for the world?
Just as a plant needs sunlight, the proper temperature, moisture, air, and nutrients to thrive, we need the same as under-shepherds of our Savior. We need the Son, the Light of the World, along with the air He gives us to breath and the nutrients we find in the milk and the meat of His Word, to shepherd well.
We have much to learn from the Puritans. Their “strength of character and life lay in prayer and meditation,” as Arthur Bennett, editor of The Valley of Vision, has noted. These men and women of God clearly regarded these practices of utmost importance, believing that living prayer is the characteristic of genuine spirituality.
Have you ever given consideration to when you actually do think God is good? Is it when He’s answered your prayer request with a “yes”? Is it when you’ve prayed the same prayer for years, with seemingly no result? God is good, but He’s not just good when the sheep in our lives are listening and following, when life is going our way, and when situations are easy. He’s also good even when – and maybe especially when – we’re in the midst of pain, in the middle of heartbreak, and facing great disappointment.
I know that in this moment – on a dock in Costa Rica – Paul's prayer perfectly described what the experience did for me. This sheep felt the glorious, unlimited resources of the Father empower me with a remarkable inner strength and confidence for whatever is ahead. It deepened my roots in His strength, giving me the power needed to understand just a bit of how much He loves me, knows who I am – wherever I am – and that I will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes only from Him. The life and power needed to shepherd well the sheep He places in my path.