Favourite Reflections: Tie a Ribbon
"I'm comin' home, I've done my time Now I've got to know what is and isn't mine If you received my letter telling you I'd soon be free Then you'll know just what to do If you still want me, if you still want me Whoa, tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree It's been three long years, do you still want me? If I don't see a ribbon round the ole oak tree I'll stay on the bus, forget about us, put the blame on me If I don't see a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree"
We are probably all familiar with the famous song, “Tie A Yellow Ribbon”, made popular in the 1970 by Tony Orlando and Dawn. It talks about a man who is about to be released from jail and wants to know if his old love “still wants him.” That catchy old tune and lyrics still ring clear in my head!
I thought about that same dynamic today when I thought of the assurance of God’s presence. I have talked about the words “The Lord is my Shepherd” with my congregation and how each one of the words represents one of our fingers: the (thumb), Lord (index), is (middle), my (ring), shepherd (baby). I got thinking maybe we need to “tie” a little ribbon or string or piece of cloth or something around our ring finger to remind us whose we are and who is guiding our lives. “The Lord is MY shepherd.” He is the one in control. He is the one gently blazing the way.
For folks who are finding this time difficult the following points can help and encourage us...
We need to TRUST Him. He promises that He is “our” good shepherd. It is His promise. It is His guarantee. Think again about who is making this promise – then think again. Jesus is personally guiding us each step of the way.
We need to TALK to Him. A shepherd loves to hear the voice of His sheep. Tell Him what’s on your mind. Tell Him your fears and cares. Thank Him for how He has lead you and thank Him for His love and care. Listen to the still, small voice, the assurance of the Holy Spirit, that He is in control. He is “our” shepherd and He is always listening.
We need to be TACTFUL. We need to take the “shield of faith” and hold it high to deflect the lies that Satan will try and throw at us. We need to take “the sword of the Spirit” and attack the “father of lies” with the truth of God’s word. The sword the Romans used was a short sword for thrusting and stabbing in close. Stab back with a simple word or phrase – it doesn’t have to be a lengthy verse or passage of scripture. Why not start with “The Lord is MY shepherd.”
We need to remember the TEAM. We are not alone. Reach out to someone in the church or close to you and ask for prayer and emotional support. Phone me! We need to connect.
And, we need to TAKE a deep breath. This too shall pass. Find a healthy way to relax: listen to music, take in a comedy, take up a hobby and if you are able, exercise at a safe and enjoyable level. Learn to relax. “We are all in the same boat – so let’s row.” We are all going to row a little differently but that’s ok. Have fun, laugh, enjoy the day.
A Sunday school teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible: Psalm 23. She gave the youngsters a month to learn the chapter. Little Rick was excited about the task, but he just couldn’t remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get past the first line. On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Rickey was very nervous. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, “The Lord is my Shepherd, and that’s all I need to know.
My friends, “that’s all we need to know!” God bless. Be safe and remember Jesus truly loves you! Pastor Ralph