Always Loved

September 8, 2003
by Carol Van Atta

John 4:13-15 – Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw." (NKJV)

When I came to the Lord many years ago, I was amazed that He could love and cherish a woman like me. At first glance, I might have been mistaken for the best friend, or maybe a roommate, of the Woman at the Well. That day, when I stumbled into the presence of Jesus, I had a difficult time looking at my own sin-stained image in the mirror. I had become that lone Samaritan woman to whom Jesus had offered His living water so many centuries before. My heart and my soul were deeply wounded by the world on many fronts — not to mention that I didn't have a very good track record of righteous living myself. I was parched, which made it easier for me to accept the gift of living water that Jesus so generously offered.

Over time, I have discovered that, in spite of our past mistakes, or even our present ones, we serve a God of second chances — a God who would rather die a painful death than lose even one of His precious sheep. Just like a shepherd lovingly cares for his sheep, our Lord tends to us. He washes our filthy wool, until we are each as white and soft as a little baby lamb. He feeds us with the bread of life — His Word — and satisfies our hunger. He allows us to drink from His living water and never thirst again.

Today, as we prepare to enter a not-so-kind world, we can rest assured that our Shepherd is by our side, guiding and directing His beloved flock. His love never falters or fails. Nothing, and that means nothing, can separate us from the love we have found in Christ Jesus, our Lord. If we fall down, and end up in a heap of rubble, or, worse yet, jump into a filthy puddle, our Shepherd will patiently clean our soiled wool, and cleanse our wounds. He once again places us on His solid ground, where we can walk boldly with the holy assurance that we are loved, always.

Romans 8:39 – Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we live in a world that is often against us. Help us to remember that in You we are secure. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from Your unfathomable love. Help us to rest assured that we belong to the most competent Shepherd ever. Remind us, if we fall in the mud today, not to wallow in it, but instead to return to You, and Your cleansing touch. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Carol Van Atta <cvatta@aol.com>
Portland, Oregon, USA

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