Let me be frank. I talk a lot about following the Good Shepherd, but I realize, especially from my point of view, following is hard.
I was once referred to as a member of the Rhino family. Are you aware that a herd of rhinos is known as "The Crash?" Yep, I was associated with them for a reason. When I see a goal ahead, I barge forward and leap to get there as fast as I can. I cannot tell you how many times that decision has led me to some real difficult places.
My nature is to be like a bull in a china shop. Now this is handy when there is something to get done. However, many times things get broken if they are in my way or near my path. Like I said, I am a member of the Crash. (you can laugh here if you know how I feel.)
As I share with you lessons from sheep, all too often I am having to learn those same lessons the hard way. When talking about the "valley of the shadow of death", I tend to be walking through it. When I talk about being in the pen, that is probably where I am. When I talk about running ahead of the Good Shepherd, that is where you more than likely can find me. It is my nature to plow ahead and try and get to where I think we are going as fast as I can. That makes following something I struggle with.
I share this with you because it is just being honest. I wrestle with God, especially when I feel backed into a corner. I know his purpose for getting me in the corner is to help me with something I am struggling with, but I don't like being cornered. I wrestle with him, I struggle against his loving hand. I don't like his pace or where he has me in the moment, so I leap forward at Him, hoping he will bend to my will.
Thankfully, He has never given in to me. I am most grateful that He has never given up on me. I can honestly say I have had some sheep who have pushed me past my limit and I am ready to throw in the towel, but He is patient beyond comprehension. For that, I just want to say thanks.
Tonight, I want to end with a quick story on His provision in the middle of another difficult moment. Today, we had some work done on the barn for which we did not have the money for. To date, He has been faithful to keep every bill paid and the barn house paid for. Today, the work was required in order to get us ready to move in, and I simply asked Him how was it going to get paid. I have some contracts set to close, but they are a few weeks out, so, I was left with only one thing, to trust Him to provide our need.
Later today, I was asking around about the price of cattle, as we had been talking about selling one of the herd as we needed to lower our grazing numbers. In the process, I was told someone I knew was looking for a cow. Within an hour, the cow was sold for the exact amount of the bill we needed to pay.
Here is what I want to encourage you with. No matter how dark it may seem, God has a plan and He has prepared that moment for you. He simply ask us to do what seems simple. yet I personally find so hard. He says, "Follow Me!"