“I Believed Him. I Believed Him So Much.”

I’ve been unsure what to write about today’s graphic…other than to tell you I think what this young woman is saying may connect with some people. There are sketchy details, and I’m okay with that. She actually says a good amount even when hurried and afraid.

Anyone can feel let down and beat up. Anyone can feel like there’s something wrong with themselves that has caused their life to turn out as it has. Of all that she has to say, I think the words in the post title are perhaps the most revealing because “Him” could apply to both Jesus and the man at home. Hers is a life of broken dreams.

This series doesn’t really have a name yet. It’s sort of like “Voices From The Last Pew,” but the setting is never a church. It’s more about going out into the world and finding people right where they are because they probably will never go to a church again ever unless the church goes to them first.

I had thought about doing a different portrait like this to go with each of the “Seven ‘I Am’ Statements Of Jesus” found in John’s Gospel, but that may be for a different time. I just wanted to present “I Am The Good Shepherd” right now because it has the most meaning for me.

It is perhaps the one “I Am” most needed by the majority of people who grew up in the church but later outgrew the church. (That is, as adults they feel Christianity to be outdated, irrelevant, or based on silly superstitions, but they had a genuine connection to Jesus in their childhood.)

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11 (NASB)

“and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:28 (NASB)

I don’t believe Jesus ever stops being Our Good Shepherd…not even when we say we have abandon Him or think He has abandoned us.

9 thoughts on ““I Believed Him. I Believed Him So Much.”

  1. Well…if she is a woman who is hurried and possibly in danger, it makes sense that she would see Jesus as her Good Shepherd. Part of what a shepherd does is he protects his sheep. A shepherd will keep his sheep from getting too close to moving water, for example. If they’re wool absorbs too much water, they can become too heavy and drown. If he sees his sheep moving towards a river or stream, he’ll redirect them. Perhaps for her, she knows Jesus is trying to nudge her away from something violent, dangerous, or even sinful. This, sadly, is something that too many of your readers can likely relate to. Like this post and hope this is a series we see more of soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My problem as a younger person was always to blame my feelings of despair on abandonment by God rather than blaming the chick in the mirror who made a series of really questionable choices. Some of my bad choices were reactionary. I made them to get away from–as The Breakfast Club calls it–an “unsatisfying” home life. Still. Bad choices some adults made compounded by bad, reactionary choices I made.

    And somehow, that meant God had abandoned me.

    That was the logic.

    I think it’s very easy for us to lose sight of the fact that God isn’t doing the bad things. We are or other people are, and we end up feeling desperate because we’re angry that we aren’t pretty or thin or rich or famous or somebody with a big, loving Brady Bunch family or super smart or super talented at whatever sport/art/other thing we covet a talent in.

    Making an earthly life secure and stable and happy is harder for some people than it is for others, and that’s not fair…but God isn’t the one who made it unfair. Sin is. Whether that sin came from us, our parents, someone else in our families, friends, or strangers, we have to learn that God is the shepherd who can drag us out of those deep waters that are dragging us down and drowning us. He’s not the one who put us there; he’s the one who can take us out.

    But it might take work. If we’re mired in deep, it might require work, and so we can feel like it’s hopeless and we’re unequipped and it’ll never get better. But whatever the circumstance is, God can make it better. Most of the time, He will straight pull us out of it if we ask, we mean it, and we’re willing to obey.

    As people who have faith, it is our duty to caretake the faith of others around us and to have compassion on people who are still looking for it. We have to point them to the shepherd. He might not make them pretty or rich or thin or famous or talented, but He can make them whole and stable people with their priorities in order and some hope in their lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comments because I think they will be helpful to others who come across this post. You may have heard the song “At Seventeen” by Janis Ian. It was off and on in my mind while I was drawing this. How we handle life’s unfairnesses is so important, just as you pointed out. Sometimes we choose things because we don’t want to accept the limits life may give us…and those choices can lead to broken dreams and sometimes broken lives. Fortunately, Jesus specializes in healing broken lives! Thanks again for your insightful comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Jesus took care of them, but not me.” I think this idea could be a stumling block for some people. The picture of Jesus as a good shepherd sounds like he won’t let any harm come to you. But that is not true. He lets lots of believers be persecuted or even killed. He lets them get raped and beat up.

    This has always been a problem for me since I know I wouldn’t let anything happen to my children if I could prevent it. But we have to face facts we are casualties of war on this world. I’m having to learn no matter what goes on in my life, Jesus loves me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “That is, as adults they feel Christianity to be outdated, irrelevant, or based on silly superstitions, but they had a genuine connection to Jesus in their childhood”

    This brings up an interesting thought. I wonder if our growth and understanding of the Word of God does eventually outgrow the way church is functioning. I believe there are many churches and Christians that have made everything about them. They still mention God, but their rules and traditions are more important than following the intent behind what God said and did.

    Then there are churches that have to change their message or focus to reach a new generation. Many in those churches feel uncomfortable and angry about those changes because it isn’t the message they are used to, and they don’t do the things they enjoy anymore.

    Maybe this is all about the maturity of the body of Christ. Sometimes the church matures too fast for the congregation, and sometimes you mature too fast for the church.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a great reply comment, but somehow lost it! Anyway, it was to say that your last paragraph really seems to capture things as they are these days. I do think that the style of preaching, the type of message delivered can help some. I think that when the message is focused on explaining God’s Word everyone can hear a message that they can relate to regardless of their spiritual maturity. The Holy Spirit can speak to each of us individually through The Word, but I’m not so sure the same is true with other types of messages. Anyway, thanks for your insightful comment. It took me down a new path that I had not considered!

      Liked by 1 person

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