If you’ve read even a few of my posts you know that I have a small flock/herd of sheep and goats.
I have learned firsthand why God called His most capable leaders from among shepherds. It’s a tough job and often a thankless job.
But it molds a heart of love and compassion in ways no other work can do.
The Twenty-third Psalm isn’t just words to me, it’s my life:
One night, as I went to close the gate to the goat pen, I noticed an older doe was missing-I didn’t have to do a head count, I just looked at the herd and could tell someone wasn’t there.
Sure enough, Bella hadn’t made it back from afternoon foraging.
I hollered out to my son and, flashlights in hand, we went looking for her. We were pretty certain she must have been knocked down and was unable to get up. Goats can get kind of pushy if there is a particularly tasty bit of browse and often butt one another.
After exploring all the usual places, he going one way and me another, he found her.
Yep, down and helpless.
In the edge of the woods.
Where, if we left her, she would be dead come morning.
So he carried her back to the pen (not an easy task with a full-grown goat!).
Why? Because that’s what shepherds DO.
They tend the herd and flock. They don’t rest until every one is accounted for.
And it’s what God calls HIS shepherds to do as well: know the flock, feed the flock, go out in the dark and the briers and find the missing one.
Not to rest satisfied that they will somehow find their own way home.
I am thankful for Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the Perfect Shepherd.
We who follow Him are called to be shepherds of our own flock-the persons He places under our watchcare, the ones He brings across our path that need love, compassion, a healing touch and a guiding hand.
It’s a tough job.
Often a thankless job.
But it’s our job.