(Note: I would like to thank fellow blogger, Prayerson Christian, for including me in the “3 Days, 3 Quotes” challenge on Word Press. I have chosen to write about one of the most quoted scriptures ever, from a personal viewpoint.)
Okay, we are not to sound like sheep, but, in many ways, we are to act like them
One of the most famous Bible scriptures tells us that the Lord is our shepherd. It is a comforting thought, but do I really want to compare myself to a sheep?
Sheep are not the smartest animal. They are needy. They are defenseless. They need to be led.
Am I willing to view myself that way?
I am an educated woman. I have held down a job for over 30 years. I can manage my home, my finances and my life. Am I prepared to consider myself ‘needy’ and “defenseless”? Will I let the Lord shepherd me?
Sheep cannot open the door of the sheepfold. They stay in the sheepfold until the gate is opened and the shepherd leads them out. They will only follow their shepherd, and if a stranger comes will shy away. That is what it says in John 10: 2-5:
“The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The doorkeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice.”
Sheep do not make decisions. They do not tell the shepherd: “We Just want to run around and play today” or “you need to lead us to the pasture by the big date palm tree” or “make sure you have your staff, because a lion is going to try to attack us today”. They simply listen for his voice and follow. It is the shepherd, not the sheep, that chooses the path that is walked.
The path that the shepherd chooses may not always be straight or easy. It may not even make sense to the sheep. It may have some curves.
Please notice the pathway in this picture. There is a curve in it, and you cannot see the end of the pathway from the view in the photo.
Much like my life right now.
My husband and I were walking through life, and I was thinking it would always be the way it was. We were on a leadership team in a local church, working with the children and helping in other areas. Then the Lord led us to attend a different church.
“Go somewhere else? What do you mean Lord? We’re actively serving you here . . . and we even joke that they prayed me into my husband’s life when we were both single!”
I never actively said that, but I had to work through those issues. Sheep do not argue. Sheep follow the shepherd.
Sheep remember the other times the Lord has shepherded them. I’ve had rough times at my work place, which included a stress leave. When I was having a bad day at work, I was encouraged by a customer in such an appropriate way that I wondered if he was an angel. Also, my mother passed away about two years ago. God was very gracious to me at that time, including the fact that I had extra time off work to spend with her.
I am very aware that there are harsher curves in the road than changing the church you attend. Curves can be caused by the death of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce, sickness and many other things.
May I be the kind of sheep that is easy to shepherd. May I walk near the Shepherd, listening to His voice and following His guidance. May I accept the correction He gives.
The sheep in the photograph had his eyes directly on me as I took his picture. May I keep my eyes directly on Jesus, as I move forward in my life.
May you also allow the Lord to shepherd you.
Copyright: Katherine Carswell
(Please note: Unless otherwise notes, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, Copyright 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible, Holman CSB and HCSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.)
Note about the photos: The picture of the sheep was taken in the Village of Nazareth, a tourist site that portrays how people lived at the time of Jesus. I did enjoy petting the sheep! The picture of the almond tree in bloom and the pathway was taken at the Biblical Garden in Israel. The pictures were taken by myself on a trip to Israel that my husband and I recently had the privilege to go on. (Pictures: Katherine C.)