A friend said to me last night, "Isn't it nice to be shepherded?"
YES - a resounding YES.
I haven't thought of the past few months - or even 2 years - in this term, but that is what has been happening in my life. I have had certain people come alongside me and encourage me, speak TRUTH into my life (exactly when I need it), care for me, spur me on, wish for me to succeed, pray for/with me, love me, and also realize that I'm stupid and listen to other voices.
Jesus talks a lot about sheep, and shepherds. I really liked this blog post from FL pastor, Timmy Brister: "Every one of Jesus’ sheep are safe and secure in the grip of the Good Shepherd who put the choke hold on death and crushed the head of the serpent."
I always need shepherding - but not everyone is a shepherd, and I'm not easily shepherded. There have been pastors in my life who have been shepherds, and I look forward to having 2 more. These pastors have also been friends of mine, and for that I am grateful.
Most of the time I need shepherding is when I listen to other things and am being stupid: and for me, that is most of the time fear of man - I listen to that dude a lot. But, when people come alongside me and remind me that life is not about man, or you - but ultimately it is about the gospel - that is what I need to hear. That is when I need to be shepherded.
But, also another aspect of a shepherd is the ability to love. I love being prized and delighted in. It is amazing that people would do that to/for me. It doesn't happen often. Its an odd thing: receiving love and/or praise. It is very hard for me to receive praise from just anyone - because I don't trust the sincerity of it. Most of the time words of praise have to be matched with action. But, being delighted in - just because of who you are and the gospel story that is on display in your life - that is amazing. When God brings someone into your life that delights in you - cherish it.
Being delighted in helps you to see the God in you, helps you to see the God in others, and increases your chance to succeed in ministry. Because, ultimately, again, its not about you - its about God. God living in you, God redeeming you, God shepherding you, God cherishing you, God loving the world, God shaping you, God refining you, God making you in right standing before Him, God being God.
Two verses on shepherding:
Psalm 100.3 - "Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, we are His. We are his people and the sheep of His pasture."
John 10.11, 27 - "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them; they follow me."
I am thankful for earthly shepherded who reflect the love of the Good Shepherd to me in their guidance, delighting, and shepherding.
Who is your earthly shepherd?