Scripture: John 10:10
Journal: How is your joy these days? What about your faith? And how about your peace? Is there a “thief” trying to steal and kill and destroy them? Is he succeeding? How will you fight against him? How will you open yourself up to the abundant life and love the Good Shepherd wants for you instead?
Reflection: A successful thief doesn’t draw attention to himself. If he did, he would be identified and apprehended. That’s why he prefers to live in the shadows and to come when we are asleep or preoccupied. He loves to sneak in the back door; a frontal assault is not usually his most effective means of accomplishing his task. If he can steal and kill and destroy without our even knowing it, so much the better. Then he can come and go as he pleases. He can even convince us that it is we who are at fault, we who have somehow lost or misplaced that which is most valuable to us.
Therefore, it is up to us to be alert and to pay attention, not only to our doors and windows, but also to the things we hold most dear. Because this thief, in particular, has come to steal our joy, to kill our faith, and to destroy our peace. Thus, if our joy, or our faith, or our peace has gone missing, it is likely a result of his doings. And, thus, we need to guard against his attacks.
Luckily, we are not on our own in this battle, the Good Shepherd is with us. He will defend us and fight for us and provide for us, for he has come that we might have life in abundance. He longs for us to follow him and to listen to his voice, rather than being led astray by the voice of the thief or the stranger. For only his voice will lead us where our hearts most deeply long to go.
Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that you came to give us abundant life, and if we are not experiencing that abundance, it is likely the result of the thief in our midst. For he has come only to steal and kill and destroy. Help us to be aware of his strategies and attentive to his attacks, so that we might never allow him to steal our joy, kill our faith, or destroy our peace. Amen.