When sheep fall over onto their backs, they can't get up. This is called a cast sheep. They need a shepherd to help them get back on their feet.
In Scripture, Jesus tells us he is the Good Shepherd. He knows each of his sheep intimately and his sheep also know him. Do you think when Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd he knew there would be times in our lives we would fall down and couldn’t get back up without him? He knows his sheep.
I am so thankful for the Good Shepherd to pick me up and set my feet upon a firm foundation.
Jesus desires a relationship with his children that is deep and abiding. One indication of this relationship is that his sheep know his voice and respond accordingly.
“The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” – John 10:3 (ESV)
We likely are still able to recall the unmistakable sound of our parents' voices as children. Whether it was Mom calling from the yard when you were playing a block away, or a father’s low voice calling for us to come home. Even in a crowd of people, we could distinguish their voices from everyone else’s.
In the same way, Jesus desires we would know and be able to distinguish his voice in the midst of busyness, confusion, social media, responsibilities or any other interference.
In this life, we can stick to these guiding words: Know when to call on the Shepherd. Learn to depend on the Shepherd. Listen to the Shepherd. Follow the instructions of the Shepherd.
Written by Samantha McCain, executive director of Buckner Calder Woods in Beaumont, Texas.