Guest blog by: Kristia Wickstrom
I stood in tears at the fence as I watched the flock of sheep in the Amish countryside. Silent, peaceful sheep were grazing the pasture and slowly moving toward me that crisp and beautiful fall afternoon. The Good Shepherd whispered reminders to me in that moment of solitude…“I left the 99 to come find you,” “I, the Lord, am your shepherd”, “I am still calling you to feed my sheep”…peace once again entered my soul. -Kristia Wickstrom
Like most mornings, today I “woke up” to the tune of social media. Contrary to what you may be thinking, I am not about to bash social media. In fact, I think that it is a great vessel for appropriate connections with people and a place where we can uplift and encourage others. However, the noise from Christians and non-believers alike can sometimes be deafening. I liken it to watching the evening news… I often walk away discouraged or depressed about what I witness and the “news” that people are sharing. I have to admit that what surprises me most is the negative noise coming from those whom I enjoy calling my brothers and sisters in Christ.
I am not sharing this to make a big announcement that I will be giving up social media for Lent…..rather I am sharing this because I am reminded in this Lenten season that as Christians we are God’s Lambs.
Sometimes it benefits God’s Lambs to be silent.
Silent lambs benefit from a break in the noise. It is during these times of solitude that we gain a stronger thirst for Jesus and are more susceptible to His love and truth penetrating our souls. I am not one who naturally gravitates towards the spiritual discipline of solitude. However, this year I have intentionally scheduled times of solitude. They have resulted in being some of the most refreshing times I have ever spent with the Lord – even better than some amazing conferences I have been to!
Silent lambs are more at peace. When we stop and remember that God is in control, that he has a plan for our lives and that He is still a good Father, our hearts and mind stabilize. We breathe easier. I don’t know about you, but life can quickly spin out of control. Even if your calendar isn’t filled to the max, the mind can still be stressed.
When we stop and are silent before God we are reminded that we do not carry the world on our shoulders. He is just waiting to lighten your burden load!
Silent lambs are more concerned about acknowledging the Good Shepherd than getting involved in the latest trending debates.
Psalm 100:3 says; “Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”
Does God care and his heart break concerning our world and the multiple issues that abound in it? He sure does. BUT….I believe that His Word contains more instruction. If we are to proclaim anything in this world, our loudest voice and passion, should be geared towards sharing the Good News (gospel) of Jesus Christ.
“Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.”Psalm 100:3
When we share the hope of Jesus and how it has transformed our lives, when we pray for one another and not just send “good vibes”, when we encourage and lift one another up, when we make one another laugh in a God-glorifying manner…..it is these things that please the Good Shepherd as He guides us through life and draws people to Jesus Christ – more so than being a social media troll or joining in on the “water cooler” banter.
We need to be intentional about drawing away and being silent before the Lord. Jesus himself drew away to be alone with the Father (Luke 5:16). It is during these times we are refreshed, gain perspective, hear the gentle reminders of what Jesus has done and continues to do for us, and we are filled with His love. When His lambs do this, we are filled, we are more at peace, and we are passionate about sharing about our Good Shepherd who continues to transform our lives.The Good Shepherd loves His sheep. He pursues your heart and desires to give you hope and peace.
I would encourage you sometime during this Lenten season to intentionally find some time to be in solitude.
Bring your Bible, a journal, a laptop…and no agenda other than to meet with God.
Make a worship playlist and play it on your phone (if you can do it without constantly checking for notifications/texts/emails/etc)….and sit.
Recommended Songs to begin your worship playlist:
“Reckless Love” by Passion (Whole Heart – Live)
“Resurrecting” by Elevation Worship
“Just One Touch” by Kim Walker-Smith
“More” by Red Rocks Worship
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”Hebrews 13:20-21
Be available for the Lord to speak to your heart.
If you’re like me, it will be uncomfortable at first….
But as you sit and wait expectantly….
He will breathe life into you, one of his Lambs.