A missionary couple, John & Joke Jones, serve in Israel and wrote back to the States in their prayer letter after a recent military conflict had happened saying that the fighting and killing brought a great discouragement over the area and they wrote further: “Yesterday a friend said she was watching a shepherd caring for his flock near the area where guns are fired. Every time the shots rang out, the sheep scattered in fright. The shepherd touched each of them with his staff and spoke calmly to them, and the sheep settled down because they trusted the shepherd. Then another shot sounded, and the same routine happened. Each time the sheep needed the shepherd to orient them again and to reassure them they were safe.”
When you think of this story, we can be just like those sheep, huh? There truly are many things in this old world to frighten us, but our great Shepherd is always there and what brings us to a place of calm and courage is the voice (the Word) of the Lord ! All it took for troubled Mary in the garden where Jesus’ tomb was was the voice of the Lord when He said her name “Mary” (Jn.20:16). Then her spirits were lifted, her hope was restored !
Later on in the next chapter it was His words to guilt riddled Peter who had denied his Lord three times when He told him, “Feed My sheep” ! (Jn.21:17). Yes, Jesus took time in the conversation before saying those words to bring Peter to a proper place of repentance. But when He told him to “Feed My sheep” Peter knew he’d been granted a reprieve and also knew Jesus loved him despite Peter’s past failure and had then been forgiven too ! God’s Word can be very very soothing if we’ll take time to read and heed !
I think sometimes that our problem all too often. We hear the shots alright but we don’t take time to hear the Shepherd ! And what awaits you in your discouragement and fright is the simple yet powerful calming voice & touch of the Shepherd. So today, take the time to listen and things will be just fine !! Jesus said in Jn.10:27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and the follow Me.” Don’t let the shots run your life, follow Him !!