I wouldn't be where I am in my journey with the Lord without people in my life who have shepherded me. I am truly humbled and in awe of the many strong mentors whose transparency and giftedness are used of the Lord to strengthen others. Their faithfulness and leadership move obstacles of uncertainty out of the way so others can get a vision of their own potential the Lord has destined. In their pursuit of the lost, the weak and wandering caught in traps, those in the wrong pastures, hungry but not feeding properly, scared...love surfaces and draws the sheep together. I for one, have been drawn back to the fold after stumbles and wanderings by the direction of the Holy Spirit through these earthly shepherds. When we know our gift and use it for His glory, many are nurtured into a greater faith. This becomes a domino-like effect. God smiles on his shepherds.
Shepherds search and find, strengthen, guide, rescue, speak wisdom and redirect, nourish, and encourage. Little wayward sheep begin to grow, begin to trust and believe in the good of being a part of something bigger.
As a child of God, The Good Shepherd is our example. He offered up His very life, conquered death and gave us that same power, to overcome!
Over the last, almost 10 years, I've seen my own role gradually change to one constantly in need of shepherding by the saints, to one who shepherds, taking on a few leaderships roles amongst my own flock of fellow sheep. God is good and what I continue to learn about myself, what God is capable of changing in someone and building up in someone is truly an amazing transformation. The tangible application of serving in leadership roles guided by skilled shepherds within the Body of Christ has blessed my soul and filled me with purpose.
I can trust in Him, that He sees the bigger picture even when we can't see to tomorrow, next week, next month or next season.
As a "sheep," I've hung on that cliff of doubt and fear, trampled through the tumbleweeds of disappointment, "bleated"out to a point where God's voice disappeared because of my own agenda and needs. Shepherded by many skilled hands and tender hearts, given a chance by a shepherd to lead, God has shone Himself in many amazing grace moments and built-up a confidence in me, not of myself, but all that God can and has done through me.
We come to rely on these shepherds in our life; their wisdom and strength, passion and stability, skillful hands and hearts beating to the same beat.
Sometimes things happen. Life is fluid, moving and rushing ahead. Change is inevitable and when it is hard for both the shepherd and the sheep, we are reminded that our strength and hope is found in the Lord, our Eternal Shepherd.
Sometimes the adjusting and change may take an earthly shepherd to a different pasture. We have to remember always, THE SHEPHERD and that His plans are not ours. His plans are always, always good. This is a time when the enemy, like wolves on a bluff, can sneak in and ravage the flock. Our job as His sheep, is to continue to lead the lost towards His Light, to love and support each other and PRAY, for the integrity of our hearts and the use of our own skillful hands God has so richly blessed us with. Let us pray for those who so generously and faithfully have shepherded us and continue to do that in and through the things God has set before us. We are His Church, His hands and feet and I believe we are more than conquerors.
God is our God through all of it and He remains the same.