Struggling To Remain One of the Ninety-Nine.

I haven’t written a blog in quite a while. It seems as though life has always interfered with being able to sit down and write out any coherent thoughts. And if I dare to tell the truth, I have avoided blog time. It has been too difficult to write out any thing I have been feeling as of late, too hard to give it thought and life, whether it is out of shame or guilt, I do not know.

Well- let’s simply be honest here. It is shame.

You see, I remember the night I was saved. I remember it clearly- I know I belong to Jesus. I also know how over the years my faith has wavered with the wind- bending with God, bending without God. Always being blown one way or the other, never standing firm, and always the one that needs to be found.

I’ve never understood that about myself.

As a new Christian I was left to figure things out on my own. There was no one there to show me how important it was to stay grounded in God’s word, to strengthen my faith, and to be rooted in Christ. The pull of the world was at my heels as well. Watching things I should not have been, listening to music I should not have been, being the kind of person I should not have been, and being a part of things I should have stayed away from. All because I thought it really didn’t matter. I don’t say all of this as part of some cop-out, I say this in truth.

Through it all- the dark times, the scary times, times when I came close to death, times when I walked down the main street of hell, times when I simply walked away- ALL of my life, I know The Good Shepherd looked out for me and always brought me back to the ninety-nine. He never gave up on me. He always came to rescue me or pick me back up. He never tired or complained.

Why then do I struggle so?

I give in to my emotions (the negative ones) which cause me to spiral. I wonder where God is, wonder about His plan for my life, wonder why He isn’t doing anything, and so on. I cry, I scream, I say “God, show Yourself to me, send me some kind of sign, tell me where You are.” In my heart, He shows me my Bible on the table downstairs, collecting dust. He shows me the open doors of His church. He opens my ears to His praises through music and His words through preachers and evangelists.

And yet, I cannot – or will not – stay with the ninety-nine. I always wander off.

I would give anything to have the faith of Billy Graham, Dr. Charles Stanley, my grandmothers, my sister- anyone and everyone whose faith in God does not waver and they believe beyond any shadow of a doubt that God loves them, that God has a plan for them, and they acknowledge every blessing from above no matter the size.

But I’m always the one who strays.

The one who gets so close to being the Christian I know I should be, and always the one falling short.

One day, will it be too much for the Good Shepherd to come after me? One day, will it be a matter of having all these opportunities at my fingertips and Him saying “no”. One day will the Good Shepherd tell me He won’t come after me anymore, that it is too late?

These questions scare me. Time is running out and I know if I continue to wander off, there might not be a gentle Hand bringing me back.

I write this truth in hopes of gaining some perspective about my life. I write this, nay confess, these things with a heavy heart and heavy spirit, knowing what I need to do, wanting to completely surrender to the Good Shepherd and never stray again.

Yet, I know I will fail.

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for wandering off and making You leave the ninety-nine to come and get me. I don’t understand why I do it. I know You are there. I know You have been there throughout my life- saving me from death, going through all sorts of trials and dark times with me, and being an ever-present, loving Savior in my life. Take away my doubts so I can clearly see You. Strengthen my faith so that I am rooted in You. Make my heart a grateful one so that I can see and gratefully acknowledge Your blessings. Please, Lord Jesus, keep my focus on You so that I don’t want to stray from Your presence. Open my eyes so that I see You for who You truly are and keep my eyes from things I should not see. Keep knocking on the door of my heart, please Lord, and may You never give up on me so that I can stand before You knowing I did my absolute best. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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