Tuesday morning. 8 AM. A dining hall on a college campus. Two students, a junior and a sophomore sit down across from each other at a table. As they, still weary from the early hour (for a college student), eat their food in relative silence, they make some mild chit-chat about how their weeks are going.
Then, as the ever-bustling crowd of college students continues around them, the junior leans in a bit. Clinging to his morning coffee, he asks a question to his younger friend. “So, what would you say is your favorite thing about God?”
The sophomore sat there for a minute or so, pondering the question, unsure how to answer. This was, after all, their first session of discipleship. He wasn’t used to this kind of conversation and didn’t know if it was a trick question or if he would give a wrong answer. Finally, he settles on a response.
I look up at my friend and answer “How he guides us.”
I was still very new to following Christ when I gave that answer. Despite that newness, however, I always felt as if there was a God guiding my life toward something but never really did anything about it.
So my answer came, not out of Scripture, but out of a feeling within me about the nature of our God, that He cares deeply about each of us and guides us in our daily lives.
But wait, why would the God who created the heavens and the Earth, care about the humdrum of MY everyday life?
Paul E. Miller talks about this in the context of Psalm 23 in his book A Praying Life:
“David captures the infinite-personal God with the first sentence of Psalm 23, “The LORD [infinite] is my shepherd [personal].” In the ancient Near East nothing else came close to this picture of intimacy. Occasionally an ancient king would be described as a shepherd of his people, but the gods were never interested in “little old me.” The words me or my, which sound like “ee” in Hebrew, ring thirteen times through the psalm. The infinite God is interested in me.”
What David lays out in Psalm 23, Jesus confirms several times throughout His ministry. In John 10, Jesus says:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
John 10:11-18 NIV
Jesus, the infinite-personal God, cares about each of His sheep. More than just caring for them, He would lay His life down for each of them.
And He Does. On the cross.
You see, in this one interaction, Jesus not only foreshadows His death and resurrection, but He also lays out why He would do so: He freely lays down his life to protect us and guide us back to the Father.
The infinite God cares about you and He wants to guide you closer to Him.