Real Life Stories – Katie Onnen

My Good Shepherd

“We all like sheep have gone astray; we have each turned every one, to our own way;” Isaiah 53:6

As a teacher of a combined classroom I often feel like I can identify quite a bit with shepherds. Shepherds often have a large flock of noisy clamoring creatures intent on wandering toward or away from the shepherd.  I have observed that it is often challenging to maneuver 20 four, five, and six year-olds into some semblance of a line.  Keeping them in that line and moving from one level of the school to another can be even more challenging.

Each child walks calmly to the line but once they arrive they are overcome with urges to bump, tickle, and talk.  At times it seems like we will never get where we should be going. My students seem oblivious to my gentle correcting and encouraging, and until I get their collective attention and remind them of their need to listen we are at a hopeless halt.

Isaiah writes that we all like sheep have gone astray.  Each of us through sin, pride and self-reliance has wandered away from God, defying His role as our Lord and Master.  So often I am just like my students – I sin by failing to do the good things that God puts before me. I sin by despising God’s word when it doesn’t line up with what I think is best.  I sin through pride thinking that I am able to go through life without God’s promises and forgiveness.

Yet, in spite of my wandering God loves me. Like a shepherd His love and patience overflow to each of us through Jesus.  Jesus shows His love through His life, death and resurrection.  Christ offers me the most beautiful, merciful exchange as He gives me His righteous life in place of my sin stained life.  Jesus reminds us of the certainty of this exchange in John 10:27-28: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  And I give them everlasting life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”

How thankful I am that God is my Good Shepherd.  He has perfect patience as He guides me through life reminding me of His love and faithfulness.  He is Lord, and His sheep am I!

Katie Onnen

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