I was reminded of a time several years back. Casey, my daughter was in youth group and the leader was talking to them about their parents. Casey said, enthusiastically, it was told to me, “I don’t just have a good mom, I have a great mom.” She was 16, at the time and I had worked hard with my kids to have a good relationship with them. I was never Casey’s or Ant’s friend but I was a parent who worked really hard at establishing a good communication with them. When the leader told me what she had said, I was thrilled that she thought so.
What had elevated me from good to great in those days? I think it was just that I loved her and we had a close relationship. She was my partner to shop and to go to plays with. I held her to a standard and she respected me for it and I respected her for trying her best. I miss her desperately some days, because she’s all grown up and off on her own. She doesn’t need her mom anymore as she once did. Now, I get calls about how to make certain food or what do I think about something. Now when we are together, it’s all I can do when I am with her not to just squeeze her and love her up. I know better than to do that because I’d embarrass her more than I already do.
So it is with our Lord. When we first learn about him and begin our relationship with him, he’s so good. Jesus even gives us the criteria for being the good shepherd:
John 10:11. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
When we first discover that Jesus loves so completely, it makes something stir in us. It makes us feel whole again. It makes us feel understood and a part of something so much bigger than ourselves.
As we progress along with our relationship with him and we discover all that He is in our life he is so much more than good. He overwhelms us with his love. We can’t quite comprehend how he is able to see our flaws and our hang-ups and yet still love us so deeply. When we find that he never ceases to teach us and guide us, we discover that he is great!
Hebrews 13:20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.