What would it take to make a shark happy on a sandy beach?
Not a question you’ve wrestled with before? I’m not surprised, but think about it for a moment. Would a nice bit of shade work? What about a hearty meal of sea otters, or a cool drink of freshly squeezed lemonade? Better yet, a beautiful partner to share the sunset?
It is a silly question, of course, because we know that, ultimately, nothing would make the shark happy because the shark is not made for the sand. The shark, by its very nature, is designed to swim in the sea.
What about human beings?
After all, human beings search for happiness and fulfillment. We all want a life of joy, love and peace. But where do we find it?
More Instagram followers? Good grades? Money? Athletic achievements? A boyfriend or girlfriend?
These accomplishments and experiences can be good gifts to enjoy, but have you ever noticed that, after a while, the happiness they bring seems to leak away? It is almost like the glamour wears off so we go searching for the next meaningful moment or great thing that we hope will fill up our happiness bucket.
Like the shark on the sand, nothing seems to fully satisfy.
In the passage we just read Jesus describes Himself as the “good shepherd” (vs. 14) and His followers as the sheep. Sheep hear the voice of the Shepherd and listen (vs. 4) because they know him as the one who loves, cares for, guides and protects them.
That is what Jesus does for His followers.
And Jesus promises that, as the Good Shepherd, He has come to bring “life and life to the full" (vs. 10).
The Bible teaches that we will not find true and lasting satisfaction in earthly things, but only in a relationship with our Creator. This makes sense, because if God is the maker of all things and the giver of every good gift, then true joy and lasting fulfillment would only be found in Him.
Jesus knows this, so He came as our good shepherd to lead us into life; not an easy life, but a rich, full, meaningful life of loving God and loving others; a life that satisfies our souls and never leaves us with an empty happiness bucket full of holes.
Pause for a moment and ask yourself,
“What are you asking to satisfy the deepest longings of your heart?”
“What might it look like to make Jesus the primary source of fulfillment and purpose in your life?”