You can see them — they’re there. People confused and lost, trying to find their way in a world full of false gods; a world full of false promises. They are sheep without a shepherd to protect them and guide them. This is what Jesus saw in his day.
Matthew 9:36 tells us: “Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd (NASB).” This passage raises a question for me. When we look upon distressed or dispirited people, do we feel compassion for them? Perhaps like me, you feel overwhelmed by the tremendous need of people to know Christ in a deep and meaningful way.
God has a specific purpose for each one of us. He places people in our lives for us to minister, to shepherd. He does not always intend for us to minister to everyone we see. Which is why I believe Jesus told his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest (Matthew 9:37-38).”
As you feel the overwhelming need of people you encounter, pray for Jesus to guide you in the role you should play in the harvest. Pray that the church will remain a strong community of believers who can minister to people in need. Pray for the Lord to send out workers into His harvest. Let your compassion for people in need of a shepherd be woven through all these prayers and wait on the Lord to shepherd you along the right path of serving Him.
© 2021 CGThelen