Opportunities come and go in our lives. Most poignantly, they happen in small slices of time. A moment’s hesitation and a job prospect is gone. One second more and that car would have sideswiped you. The phone sounds its last ring and you grab it in time to hear the apology you’ve been praying for. You crest the hill at exactly the same moment the sunset sky reaches its most glorious and spectacular release of color and light.
Even though there may be many shepherds and many herds, there is only one shepherd for each herd. And only the true Shepherd—only Jesus Christ—can call sinners to repentance and faith. Despite all the good intentions of faithful and clever sheepdogs, all they are able to accomplish is an interpretation of the shepherd’s commands. Dogs can’t save souls. They are, after all, just dogs.
My husband describes the moment that he realized I was the one he’d been looking for this way: “It was like spotting a fugitive on the street whose wanted photo you’ve been carrying around for months.”
It’s not the only time I’ve been sought out.
That hole I want to dive into when this world’s failures — when my failures — press in upon me? I can’t go there. It’s already occupied — by my burden. It tumbled off my shoulders and into that Tomb when Jesus set His mark on me and sealed me for heaven. That glorious, empty tomb was vacated when He rose to conquer the terror and finality of death that loomed over me when I resided in the City of Destruction. That hole once housed His body crushed for me under the weight of my sin, and now it buries instead for eternity my burden and those of all who believe in Him. It’s a bottomless pit.