As I sit here and think about this holy week leading up to Easter, I look forward to a new season. Easter is such a beautiful picture of new life. It's only March but I can already look at this past year and see how the Lord has grown and stretched me.
I met with an old friend yesterday and shared with him my desire for change and more. It was so incredibly filled with grace that somehow he pointed out an issue without even pointing it out. By simply sharing how he viewed his mistakes at my age, he opened my eyes to the mistake I was making. It may sound crazy, but to be rebuked was so refreshing. It wasn't even a rebuke, but simply a gentle lead into realization. I'm sure as I sat there sharing with him what I wanted to do and have happen he saw my faults, but rather than pointing the finger at me, he shared with me the wisdom he had gained over the past few years. It was through telling his mistakes that I realized I was in the very same place he had been a few years ago.
It felt good to be humbled. It felt good to be reminded I am so young and don't know it all. I realized I am that young head-strong college grad who thinks I can change the world because I know how things need to be done. When in all reality...I know nothing. I have very little knowledge, experience, or wisdom about the big business world. This realization was surprisingly a beautiful breath of fresh air.
Why is it that I have not been called out more for my mistakes? Or warned about mistakes I may be making? I wonder if people are afraid of calling out faults or mistakes for fear of being labeled as "judgmental" or "condemning." But friends, I'm hungry for rebuke. I'm hungry for guidance. I'm hungry for someone to say, "Sophia, you are being foolish in this." I'm young. I'm proud. I think I know best. That is not ok. I long for someone to just be honest with me without fear of me calling them judgmental.
I am reminded of 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."
We can learn through teaching and training, but without reproof and correction we are missing out. Scripture tells us that these things help us become competent well-equipped people. Without it we are puffed up and proud, ignorant and ill-equipped.
I saw this picture by Benjamin Hole, an English farmer. It struck me for so many different reasons.
My first thought was about how strong his hands are around that fragile newborn lamb. His hands are strong yet they cradle this lamb so gently. Sure strong hands. To me this is the image of the Good Shepherd. Our God is strong and sure. He is not weak, timid, shy, or feeble. He can protect us as Hole can protect this little lamb.
I love the whole image of Jesus being a shepherd. We as his sheep are foolish and stubborn. He is strong when he needs to be, yet he also has a gentleness to him. I want to trust in the hands of the Good Shepherd. I want to know that when he rebukes or corrects me it is for my benefit. I want to be open before the Lord, open to his guidance. I want to learn from Him.
So as Easter comes this year, I want to remember that Easter is not about a bunny. It is about a lamb. The Lamb who died as a sacrifice for my sins, that I may commune with my Lord and spend eternity growing in fellowship with Him. I want to be more like Him. I want to be pruned and refined. I don't want to be foolish, stubborn, or arrogant. I want to be as this humble, trusting lamb in the arms of my Good Shepherd.
May you feel the nearness of our Savior this holy week, and be reminded of the sweet sacrificial love of Jesus Christ. Blessings and love.