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sweet silly sheep

Hello! Fall often reminds me of transitions, whether to a new school, new job, new Bible study, or simply a new routine. Many of us are in transitions in life right now. My family is at a crossroads of many important decisions. Most of us when making decisions, especially those that will shape the rest of our lives wonder how to know what is the right decision.

Is there a special formula? Is there a special feeling when praying that lets us know? Is there only one good choice God has and if we miss it are we doomed? Not to get into a deep theological discussion, which could definitely happen here, let’s keep it simple. God is a God of order and of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). I don’t believe God is removed from us, up in the sky somewhere, watching us flounder in decision-making, hoping we make a good choice. God is loving, caring, and deeply involved in our lives (Ephesians 3:18).

I did a little research on sheep and shepherds. I think to fully understand what Jesus means by comparing us to sheep, we need to know about sheep and the relationship they have with their shepherds! Did you know the shepherd cares so much about his flock, he personally lays his body at the opening to the flock at night, so if danger lurks or an animal approaches the sheep, their shepherd is there to defend them. In God’s Word, we are often referred to as sheep, which really makes total sense. Sheep are, let’s be real, stupid. They can be led astray quite easily. So can we, right? Something sounds like a great idea and if we are not careful and talk with God, we could easily get into something not so great. Shepherds also actually name the sheep in their flocks. Amazingly, the sheep learn their names and will come when called. Shepherds lay down their lives for their sheep and Jesus says He does too in John 10:15.

In John 10, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep, and they know me.” One of the coolest and most comforting verses in the Bible says, “My sheep hear my voice, I know them” (John 10:27). When making decisions, large or small, it is important to listen for our Lord’s voice above all the others we hear in the world. We must forget about any garbage we hear or bad advice and search wisdom from our loving Shepherd, who knows our name! Tuning out other voices, whether literal voices or voices of pressure from the world, is difficult. I believe the more we listen for our Good Shepherd’s voice, our loving Father, the easier it will be to hear him in the future, too.

I get frustrated sometimes when I am giving instructions to one of my girls for their best and I know they will love it, but they complain and refuse to follow directions because they are distracted by other junk! This happened when looking for shoes. I know my oldest girl likes pin and shiny, so I am trying to get her attention and show her these rose gold shimmery Converse tennis, but she is wandering around the shoe store looking at everything else, which is irrelevant to our shoe search. I know I do the same with God. He has great plans but sometimes I can get sidetracked by something immediate and shiny, and if I don’t pay attention to His voice, I might miss it!

Interestingly, sheep also have terrible eyesight but excellent hearing. As a side thought, I occurs to me that we might do well to listen to our Shepherd’s voice more than we get caught up with the visuals we see on earth. We are surrounded by visual stimulation from all sorts of media, and what a blessing it is! We just might do well to remember to listen for our Father’s voice above any visual stuff we find on earth.

I hope this is as encouraging to you as it is to me, sweet friends! We have a loving Father who is gentle and caring toward us, even in our stupidity and stubbornness. How wonderful it is to remember that! Have a wonderful week. Listen for your Shepherd’s voice! Let me know if you have a story about following Him and how you recognized His voice! It will serve as encouragement to others!



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