We are important to God - 11 September 2020

By Ben Fourie

Are you afraid sometimes? Afraid of those things that can physically harm you and also those that can impact negatively on your very soul and spirit. We are sometimes so indoctrinated to keep a stiff upper lip by society, family or friends, that the latter might become a bigger problem than being afraid in the first place. It is no disgrace to be afraid, but on the other hand, we should never be so afraid of life itself that it will cast a shadow over everything we plan and do.

In a book called ‘Stories vir die lewe’ (stories about life), there is a beautiful story about a boy from a certain culture who, as a part of his initiation, had to spend a night in the jungle all by himself to prove that he could be regarded as a man from that time onwards. He was very afraid of everything around him and trembled at every little noise. When it grew light, he saw to his amazement that his father was sitting close to him. His father kept guard over him throughout the long night. The boy said, “If I had known that my dad was close to me, I would not have been afraid”. We do not have this excuse when we are afraid. After all, we know that our Heavenly Father is guarding us every moment of our lives.

In the above-mentioned verse from John 10, Jesus calls us His sheep and uses a powerful figure of speech to tell us how important we are to Him. He said, “No one can snatch them away from the Father’s care.” It refers to a shepherd who holds the sheep so tightly in his grip that no vermin could snatch it from him.

Through this metaphor, Jesus wants to assure us that we are safe in the hands of God. In Romans 8: 38-39, Paul put it into this unsurpassable words, “For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death or life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below – there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord”. When I read, this I cannot imagine why I should be afraid of anything.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for knowing all the things that frighten me and thank you for holding me in your grip. Amen