For the strays…

One day, while running on the treadmill, I am going to be politely asked to leave the YMCA. I’m serious. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone approaches me to say that I am disturbing the other participants. Those headphones get me into a lot of trouble. I can really look the fool. Quite embarrassing really. Listening to worship, I’ve been known to raise my hands, clap, give the fist pump, point to the ceiling. I have even cried. While running, I’ve cried. So embarrassing. Well, yesterday was no different.

Possibly worse.

I was thinking about yesterday’s post and Ezekiel 34….

I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so I will look after my sheep.

I will rescue them from the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness

I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD.
I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak. Ezekiel 34: 11, 12, 15, 16

I thought of the Sovereign LORD searching for the lost. For the strays. And how His heart must sink when he turns to find one has wandered. Then He runs. Sprints after them. So there I am running on the treadmill, envisioning the Lord running after me. So I start running harder. Like Jesus. And tearing up. I even put my hand over my heart. Are you picturing this? Running, tears, and hand over the heart. Oh my. Somebody stop me.

The verse says, I will rescue them.
Rescue here means 1) to snatch away, deliver, save, strip, plunder, to tear oneself away, deliver oneself, to be torn out or away, be delivered, snatch away (from enemies or troubles or death), to deliver from sin and guilt, to be plucked out.

Oh hallelujah.

Today, I think of the wandering soul. The believer that once walked in the flock and has strayed. The one who has wandered into days of clouds and darkness.

Just the other night I was laying in bed about to fall asleep when I started thinking back to my past. And I was reminded of some things I had done in those “crazy years” that I had not thought of in ages. Dark. I tinkered around in some dark places. Spiritually dark that is. I really do believe this verse in Ezekiel to be true.

The Sovereign LORD rescued me.

He snatched me right up from those dark places. He saved me from myself. He delivered me from the hands of the enemy and, hallelujah, delivered me from the sin and guilt of it all. That is the best. Not only has he torn me away from those cold places, he delivers me from the shame and guilt that follows. Tears. Fill. My. Eyes. Thank you, Lord.

He searched for me. He left the flock to come and find me. He has bound up my injuries (I sure did have a lot) and has strengthened me, the weak. v.16

So this morning, my heart swells for the wandering soul. I swear I could just scream. THERE IS GREEN PASTURE FOR YOU. A feast fit for kings. Do not let the enemy tell you that you are “too unclean to return. Your heart too nasty.” Don’t believe the lie that you “don’t belong anymore.” Don’t believe the lie that “everyone else is perfect and you’d stick out like a sore thumb.” Baloney. Read my blog and you’ll feel much much better about yourself. Talk about imperfect. You’re reading her.

This is where my heart for ministry falls -for the stray. I get them. I was them. The one who once received Christ, but lost her way. Scattered and strayed from the flock.

The catch…you have to be willing to be led back. Let down your stinkin’ guard. Allow Jesus to woo you.

At church Sunday we sang the song, Majesty. Oh, this song is my life. “His grace has found me just as I am. Empty handed but alive in His hands.” He searched for me and found me. Just as I was. No show. Raw and dark. But he wanted me, anyway. He sprinted to find me.

I don’t always do this…but if you are wandering around, your life – one big day of clouds and darkness, would you allow Jesus to bind up your wounds? Strengthen you? Be led back? I’d love to talk with you. Email me if you feel led. becky.crenshaw@uscm.org

No judgement here.

I added the lyrics to Majesty. Worship, reflect and be blessed.

Majesty

Here I am humbled by your Majesty
Covered by your grace so free
Here I am, knowing I’m a sinful man
Covered by the blood of the Lamb

Now I’ve found the greatest love of all is mine
Since you laid down your life
The greatest sacrifice

Majesty, Majesty
Your grace has found me just as I am
Empty handed, but alive in your hands
Majesty, Majesty
Forever I am changed by your love
In the presence of your Majesty

Here I am humbled by the love that you give
Forgiven so that I can forgive
Here I stand, knowing that I’m your desire
Sanctified by glory and fire

Now I’ve found the greatest love of all is mine
Since you laid down your life
The greatest sacrifice

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5 thoughts on “For the strays…

  1. Amen…love that God sought after us, ran after us, and rescued us! Thank you, Jesus!And, no worries…I am "that girl" running, too!!! All through the streets of Memphis! πŸ™‚

  2. This is so hilarious! I often feel the same way as I strain to keep myself from closing my eyes and belting out in joyous song! I would fall right off my treadmill for sure πŸ™‚

  3. I am so glad not to be alone. By the way! Cortney, this is Erin (posted above!) – my sister-in-law adopting from Ethiopia! You all should check out eachother's blogs! You are about at the same pace with the same adoption agency! How the Lord works!!

  4. Thank you Becky for this blog entree. I am a pastor from Ontario, Canada and I will be speaking on the Lost sheep parable in Luke 15 and your comical story of worshiping on the treadmill at the YMCA is just what my message needs. Thanks, too, for your honesty of having once been a wanderer – this is the type of honesty that really helps people. Terry

I means so much to hear from you!

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