Do you know the Good Shepherd?

My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.   John 10:27

Last fall, I started walking two dogs for an older gentlemen in my neighborhood. They were Border Collies and their names were Mila and Abby. Mila was six years old and very protective of her owner. Abby was nine months old, spunky and full of energy. Both dogs were very intelligent, and I learned right away that I had to earn their trust as they saw me as a stranger. Over time, we developed a friendship and when I would arrive each day, they knew I was there to walk and exercise them. But when winter came and brought colder temperatures with it, the job stopped. As Spring arrived, I messaged the owner and he said he would like for me to pick up the job of coming over 2-3 times a week to walk and play with them. I agreed but was a little nervous about meeting them after a few months of not interacting with them. I didn’t know if they would remember who I was or not. One day last week, I drove to his house and pulled into the driveway. Mila and Abby were in the fence in the back yard, so I got out and immediately they started barking as to alert that an intruder was here. I called out their names but they were frantically running around so I wasn’t sure they heard me . I saw Mila take off running to the back deck and she slammed into the screen door. She was trying to get in the house, to come out through the front door to get to me. She came back around to the back yard and once again I called both their names. Both dogs came to a halt, and the barking stopped immediately. I could see their whole demeanor change as they recognized my voice. With wagging tails, they both went and grabbed a toy and eagerly waited for me to come inside the gate to play with them. As this happened, the scripture in John was impressed on my heart, “My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow me.”

As I pondered on this verse this past week, I am thankful that I have a Good Shepherd and I know his voice. I am not ashamed to be a part of the flock, those who are believers in Jesus Christ. Not only do I know his voice, but God knows mine. Even when I stray from him, which happens more often than I would like to admit, when I come back and pray to him, I don’t have to introduce myself all over again. I am his child and forever will be.

There are times when this world is so loud and distracting, that if we are not careful, we let it drown out God’s voice in our lives. When we put our expectations or worldly things before God, it usually doesn’t end well. We must choose to follow him daily. The Christian walk is not an easy one, but it is worth it. We must be intentional and give him time and priority in our lives. He is our Good Shepherd and will guide us if we will just follow him. No matter what you are facing today, I encourage you to trust him with it. The evidence may not always be right where you can see it, but know he is always working on your behalf. I believe He is always working “behind the scenes” on our stories. We can make all the plans we want, but if it is not God’s will for our lives, we must learn to loosen our grip on what we think should be and know that His ways are far greater than anything we can imagine. I pray that if your struggling with a burden today, that you can find the strength to lay it at his feet. And if you do lay it at his feet, do not pick it back up! I am guilty when it comes to this. I lay it down, only to pick it back up, only to lay it down again. Quite frankly, it is exhausting, so if you lay it at his feet, leave it there!! God loves you, he cares for you, and he wants what is best for you. He knows what lies ahead in your future, so trust the process and lean on the Good Shepherd.

Keep moving forward,

Hayley W

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