Connected to the Shepherd
Updated: Apr 1, 2020
The other day I was stuck behind a long line of cars that stopped behind a school bus. I noticed there were several moms standing on the sidewalk, waiting for their kids to hop off the bus.
One particular mom caught my eye, as she seemed engaged in an animated cellphone conversation. A little boy got off the bus and ran over to greet her with a smile, but when she continued her phone conversation and seemed to ignore him, he stopped a few feet short, his smile evaporating.
Honestly, at times I can relate to both the boy and the mom. The boy – perhaps feeling ignored and unimportant, and the mom – probably preoccupied, stressed, and distracted.
I think we all struggle in some way in our relationships.
In a so-called “connected” world, we can often feel very disconnected and alone. The good news is that God knows this about us, and even intimately knows us. He is The Ultimate Connection we need so that we can connect with others.
God’s Word shows us how much God is connected to us and wants our connection. In one of my favorite Psalms, Psalm 139, the psalmist (David) reminds us over and over again of the intimate knowing that the Lord has of us, even as He knits us together in our mother’s womb.
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways “(Psalm 139:1-3. ESV).
From the moment we are born, and even while in the womb, we are learning about relationships and how to connect. God wired us for connection – first to Him as our Creator, then to our mothers and fathers and an ever- expanding world of relationships.
I recently attended a conference called Empowered to Connect, that is designed for parents and professionals who are caring for children who come from hard places and traumatic backgrounds. The journey of parenting children that have had loss and trauma brings with it unique issues, both for the child and for the parent. At the conference, one pearl of wisdom (among many!) stood out as foundational.
Healing and transformation come through connected relationship.
How often do I want God to just “magically” change and heal me, make me a more loving parent and wife, without allowing myself to truly be known by Him first, deeply connected to Him, and accepted by Him? Only then, when I live in security of my connection to Him, can I connect with others in a way that brings healing and transformation.
Because we are born into a fallen and broken world, we will experience damage and disconnect in our relationships. The relational wounds that we experienced in our past can impel us to act in ways that wound others, usually quite unintentionally. But those same wounds can also compel us to seek the Lord for grace and healing.
Over many years, God has used the relational disconnections with my husband and children to show me my rough and wounded areas so that He can bring them to the light of His healing.
Not a comfortable or easy process to be sure! Healing and transformation from past wounds is an ongoing process. But the process is worth it, as I become more deeply connected to the Lord and experience greater peace and security in my heart. Best of all, I am learning to connect with others in an affirming and healing way.
At the end of Psalm 139, after the psalmist recalls the wonderful intimacy God has with him, in a posture of complete trust, he invites God to draw even closer.
“ Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”(Psalm 139:23-24,ESV)!
As we draw close to the Good Shepherd, and invite Him to search us and know us, we can be confident that He will transform us and lead us – He will restore our soul!
Dear Lord, Thank you for knowing us deeply and wanting to connect with us. When our relational wounds are exposed to Your Light, help us to not to run away from You, but to draw near as You lovingly restore us and show us how to connect. Amen!