What do you feel when you believe in and love God? Don’t you feel like there is truly much to receive and be joyful about? Though, on the other hand, there is much hardship in faith as well.
David said, “The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing He makes me lie down in green pastures. And he leads me besides quiet waters.” He made this confession to God, didn’t he?
David is someone who endured and overcame tribulations, sufferings, and hardships. To people like David, Jehovah will be their shepherd and lead them to green pastures every time tribulations come.
When I think of my life, it was the same. When I was fighting in the Vietnam War, I was fighting in the tickets of jungles and forests. The jungles were crawling with enemies, and that was my battlefield. But I found out later that I was in the safest place. My squad was always in the most suitable place to escape. Even though we were in the most perilous place, we were in the spot we had to be in. We were always able to commence our operation smoothly before escaping.
When I realized that, can you image how I felt? Think about it. When you are in the midst of tribulations, persecution, and hardships, you can’t help but then, “Ahh, man, is this it?” But then later, you realize that you were where you needed to be.
God Leads Us to the Best Place
Just like this, as we go throughout our daily life, in the midst of various situations and circumstances, the places we end up in our lives are the best places to be because those are the places God has led us to.
During the time I was going through my most extreme hardship, I told God, “I really want to escape from these difficulties.” I prayed to God and petitioned to him like this.
At that time, God told me, “Listen. There is only a single log you can use as a bridge to escape your sufferings. As difficult as it sounds, it’s better than swimming against the power currents ranging underneath, right? If you cross using a single log as a bridge, it’s definitely better.”
“If there’s a path you can use to cross even if it means holding onto a single thread, that’s better than the alternatives. What I mean is that single log is the green pasture I have led you to as your shepherd.”
“Besides, how long can a bridge made of a single log be? A tree is 30-40 meters at most. How long do you think it could be? You should carefully walk until the end. I am next to you and will continue to be with you!”
God gave me that realization.
A Single Log is God’s Blessing
If you really want to save your life, you have to do things that go against your guts sometimes. I’m sure this applies to you too. When you are going through difficulties and hardships, it feels like you are walking on a single log. But even then, that is Jehovah being your shepherd and leading you along.
He said that even a bridge made of a single log is a green pasture that pertains to you.
David said, “The Lord is my shepherd and I lack nothing.”
When your circumstances are not ideal, it does not seem like a green pasture. But even if it doesn’t seem like a place where sheep are led to, no matter where you are, if God has led you to the best place among all the other choices, that in itself is Jehovah being your shepherd and the place you can rest.
-June 19th, 2006 Sunday message “A winning life”