Faith Travel

Ba Ba Black Sheep

May 12, 2008

Living in the UK, you could say I’ve seen more sheep in the past two months than I have in a lifetime. And I’m a farm girl! But now, the little white dots blanketing the countryside grazing carelessly holds new meaning.
My sister, cousin and I attended Hillsong London a couple weeks ago and the guest speaker that morning was a Texan, Priscilla Shirer, author of ““Discerning the Voice of God: How to Know When God Speaks”. She gave several points on how to know when you’re hearing from God, and that as Christians we should EXPECT to hear from Him. Speaking from John 10 where Jesus relates Himself as the shepherd over His sheep, Priscilla shared about that time in history and how a shepherd would take care of his sheep.
Several shepherds would bring their flock into one grazing ground, so all the sheep from different owners would night together. One shepherd would stay with the flock guarding the gateway out, while the others found another place to sleep for the night. In the morning, each shepherd would return and call to his sheep. Now this is the interesting part. There could be 500 sheep in the grazing pen, and only the ones who BELONGED to the shepherd would respond to his call. They would come running to their shepherd knowing He was moving them on. They knew his voice.
What really got me, was when she quoted John 10:14 when Jesus said ” I KNOW my sheep.” You see, the shepherds in those days knew each sheep individually. He had spent time with them. He knew their personalities. I could picture in my mind the shepherd sitting on the hillside with a little white sheep between his legs, nestled securely in his care. They would play and the shepherd would tease the little lamb with games. He would run his strong hand over the lamb’s scars; perhaps a wound from where it tried to escape. I pictured the shepherd hushing carefully to the lamb that it would be ok. It would heal. The shepherd would watch the lamb and how he responded to his voice; what worked and what didn’t. Because of the devoted time the shepherd spent with this little lamb, the lamb knew to trust his caretaker. He knew that the shepherd loved him and only had his best at heart.
Before I knew it, my eyes filled up. Embarrassed in this huge auditorium of Londoners, I wiped the tears away. JESUS KNOWS ME. He has watched me. He knows how to speak to me and what doesn’t work, because of my personality or stubborness. He knows the wounds we all try so hard to hide are there for a reason and wishes us to learn from it. Isn’t that really every human beings greatest desire? To be known?
Suddenly, as that’s often how God speaks, I knew in my heart that God really did know all these flustered thoughts in my heart of what the future holds, who I am, what I desire – He knew it all. In my vain and sometimes desperate attempt to express “the real me” – the tears turned to relief and worship. With my hands raised at the last song, I was so thankful. I was known.

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  • teeveebee May 14, 2008 at 4:56 AM

    Thanks for reminding me that Jesus is our Good Shepherd and that he truly does care for His sheep.

    Your post also reminded me that I must take the time to listen for his voice. In my busy life, that is something that does not always happen. I am sometimes a very foolish sheep!

    You have encouraged me.

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