I want to circle back around and address a character from my recent posts. Remember that sassy proverbial sheep that stood up and demanded my attention? She rose up and said, “You know, I am feeling a little wormy today. Do you mind giving me a little of that herbal formula over there?” Well, this foolish creature holds a huge lesson about taking care of myself. This deep lesson is one that I have to repeat over and over again. Christ is my everything, even my awareness of self.
Taking Care of Myself: Awareness of Self
As a shepherd of sheep, I became the sheep’s awareness of self. I saw their health, afflictions, maladies, and I was their sole care. I was their inspector. And I knew when they were wormy and what to do to rectify it. They had no clue, they just slowly munched and chewed through a field of green. How does this relate to me, you might ask? My Shepherd is my Source of care to the point of even being my awareness of self.
This has been a hard lesson. I can’t keep myself any more than that sheep could. Oh, believe me, I try! But as my Shepherd, He has to direct everything, including my health and wellbeing. I don’t like this one at all. If I feel sick, I run to the doctor, right? As one who is owned, not so much. If He is my Life Source, then He has to direct my care. Again, hard lesson!
Christ Cares for Me
For most of my life, I have attempted to shepherd myself. I cared for myself as I saw fit. But what Christ continually circles back to with me is this:
“Christ’s life as my life is His life in my life, and that’s not my life as His life, it’s HIM.”
This is all-inclusive, not à la carte. Could that include my health? Most assuredly! My health is a particularly huge source of ownership. And where is His Lordship more tested than when it runs up against my body?
Being Shepherded Rather than Taking Care of Myself
Do you remember my posts about juicing off my finger? This was just one of the many ways my Shepherd shepherded me. And because it was Him directing my care, I encountered Christ in glory. I wonder how much of a fight I’d put up over His care of me if I knew I was preparing to encounter Jesus in a deeper way?
I believe one of the greatest tests about God’s Lordship is with our health. Sure, His sovereign choice of our parents is at the top of the list, but our health is right there with it. It’s something that is always with us. We carry these bodies throughout our entire lives and they demand our attention endlessly.
God My Shepherd
My Shepherd God wants to attend to and care for me. He isn’t negligent as some fear, yet He does have to be given ownership rights to keep us. In the Message of the Month Owned by God, Martha says, “What God owns, Christ keeps!” This includes our own bodies. It is one thing to let Him own my house and car, but my body, too? Yes, this hotly contested possession is His property. No whipped up concoction nor doctor-of-whatever-field do I get to turn my health over to. My Shepherd determines from where my help comes. He might choose a doctor or He might have me wait. Regardless of His choice, the point is that it is His choice not mine.
You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:20 AMPC