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For the Love of a Shepherd

I have loved you with an everlasting love
     therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.  
(Jeremiah 31:3b) 

Those recovering from spiritual abuse, authoritarianism and emotional manipulation often say they also need a break from God.
     Often, they do. 
    At least from the god they've known. But in a wild, heady, divine redemption, this rejection of an authoritarian god often becomes a heady step of faith ~ a move towards the One True.

With lovingkindness I have drawn you.


Is there any love message more tender than this?  

     Many of my readers know first-hand the pain of coercion, manipulation and force. Of the Ezekiel 34 kind of shepherd ...
 1And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.”
7 ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 8 “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock”— 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD! 10 Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.”
    In direct contrast, our Good Shepherd beckons gently. He appeals. He woos. He lavishes life. His love makes you want Him.

I will require My flock at their hand, He says.

I will deliver My flock from their mouths. 

My prayer for all my readers today is that you may come to know this love, even if you've known of it all your life; even if you thought you've known it.

It's a jealous kind of love, for ...
neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:38)
I have drawn you, He says.
Rest and be drawn.
________

In keeping with today's theme, here are past articles from Quivering Daughters that may be of interest. 

When the Hands are Loving, Where Does the Pain Come From?
Carolyn doesn't know why she's crying. “It doesn't make sense,” she says. “I don't go hungry. I have everything I need. We are a close family. I've never been hit. I know I'm a sinner and have asked God over and over to show me what I've done wrong and what I need to change, but nothing gets better ~ in fact, it gets worse! From the outside, everything looks great. But inside I'm going crazy. I can't take this much longer.”
      Adult daughters like Carolyn write me often, agonizing over the cognitive dissonance of ... (To read more, visit When the Hands are Loving, Where Does the Pain Come From?)
How Does Jesus Love You?
by Eric M. Pazdziora 

The story goes that somebody once asked a great theologian—nobody’s quite sure which theologian, but so the story goes—what was the most profound doctrinal statement he had ever heard. The theologian thought for a moment and replied:
“Jesus loves me; this I know
For the Bible tells me so.”
We smile at the irony of a distinguished scholar singing a ditty for children. But I think he knew his stuff. Unless you become like a little child, after all, you won’t get into the kingdom of God. Out of the mouths of infants and babes, God has perfected praise. In those three little words we all sang as children is everything we really need to know: “Jesus loves me.” (To read more, visit How Does Jesus Love You)
When You Love a Daughter of Patriarchy
Recently Lewis left this comment on Irony and a Broken Heart: 
There is much I could say.
My former bride-to-be was heavily indoctrinated into the notion of "I don't give my heart away" and her father being her protector. She was/is in her mid 20s. The result was  a woman morbidly afraid of her own shadow emotionally, a woman who was continually laden with guilt about expressions of affection for me....(To read more, visit When You Love a Daughter of Patriarchy)

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for the reminder, Hillary!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just want to say that I love you, Hillary.

    ReplyDelete

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