Headed southwest from New Orleans to Cut Off, Louisiana where our friends live. The bayou. Adventure of a lifetime. And today Jeremiah’s prophecy to bring Israel back to their land came alive for me in my friend’s story of the marsh markers of his forefathers…
4 “In those days, at that time,”
declares the Lord,
“the people of Israel and the people of Judah together
will go in tears to seek the Lord their God.
5 They will ask the way to Zion
and turn their faces toward it.
They will come and bind themselves to the Lord
in an everlasting covenant
that will not be forgotten.
6 “My people have been lost sheep;
their shepherds have led them astray
and caused them to roam on the mountains.
They wandered over mountain and hill
and forgot their own resting place.
20 In those days, at that time,”
declares the Lord,
“search will be made for Israel’s guilt,
but there will be none,
and for the sins of Judah,
but none will be found,
for I will forgive the remnant I spare.
34 Yet their Redeemer is strong;
the Lord Almighty is his name.
He will vigorously defend their cause
so that he may bring rest to their land
Jeremiah 50:4-6, 20, 34
The lost sheep of Israel call upon the Lord to come back to him. This is what we hope for: that the lost sheep will return. We have all either been lost sheep or we have lost sheep. Return is the hope. Even the sheep that is lost, heading out its own way to sow wild oats, in its heart of hearts, hopes there is a way back. After all is said and done, I want to know I can go home. Back to my family. Back to my roots.
They asked for the way back. Lord, where do we go? How do we get there?
Our friends Levi and Reba took us out on the marsh to their camp in Louisiana this week. They have 2000 acres out there. And Levy showed us a marker standing up in the grass. It’s a tall timber standing vertical in the middle of nowhere. That’s where my Dad would tie up his mud-boat. He would tie it up there and then go trapping. When he needed to find his boat, he would look for that marker.
Recently, after a hurricane went through these parts, Levy took his grandson, Carson, out to straighten the marker because it was starting to fall down. And Levy told his grandson the story of the marker and Carson’s great-grandfather. Levy said, “Carson, when I am gone, I want you to watch this marker and make sure that if it ever starts to lean over, that you come out here, maybe with your son or grandson, and you straighten it up again.” He wanted to make sure that the marker stayed intact and upright. Why? Because we need a place to go back to. We need a true north. We need a beacon to find our way.
Jesus is our beacon. He is the Good Shepherd of our hope and our way to God. Jesus told us that he is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through him. How do we get there? Through Jesus. How do we find our way? Through Jesus.
God will forgive us for our sins because of Jesus. Our redeemer is strong to lead us and forgive us and sustain us. Jesus is our way back. Look for the marker…
Where are you? Are you somewhere out in the marshes of life looking for hope and the way back? Think you are too far gone? You are not. Jesus is our marker of truth and the way to God.