“The doorkeeper opens it for him, and the sheep by name and leads them out. When He has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow Him because they recognize His voice.” John 10:3-4
A few months ago I was praying for direction, begging God to give me a clear vision of where He wanted me and what He wanted me to do. When He gave me His answer, I was NOT a happy camper. His was not the answer I wanted to hear.
I was pretty miserable for a while. See, I truly desire to want what God wants for me above what I want for my life, but I don’t always succeed with that desire. And it causes conflict. Anyone else with me there?
After a while of wallowing in my “grief,” I realized it was really about surrender. A surrender to His will. It was also about trust. I needed to have a willingness to trust Him–to truly trust Him to know what is best for me.
Today my youngest and I went to a local living history museum (shout out to Greenfield Village!) and we had the opportunity to watch a sheep being shorn.
If you look at the picture above, the sheep definitely does not look happy.
Oh no, she looks pretty miserable. But, she has surrendered to the will of her shepherd. She wants to get away and do her own thing–to be free, but her shepherd knows what’s best and places her in this position so that he can help her and shape her and, yes, bless her.
Because of her surrender, the sheep will receive a blessing. By surrendering to his will, she will become lighter and able to move about more freely. It will make her much more comfortable and at peace.
It is the same with us, my friend. (Is it any wonder that our Lord compared us to sheep?) When we fully surrender to God’s Will for our lives, He places us in the exact position He wants us–the one that is best for us and will bring us a great blessing, if we choose to submit.
The sheep learned it and I am learning it. I am surrendering to His plan for my life. I have chosen to follow Him and trust that He knows what is best. And as I am doing that I am no longer sad. I feel uninhibited, free and, most excitingly, strong, because I know He is a amazing Shepherd Who I can trust to supply exactly what I will need for what He has planned.
Surrender isn’t always easy, but it is always necessary for those who claim Jesus as Lord. When we submit to His will for our lives, we will receive so much more than we will ever give up.
If we stay where we are and refuse to submit, we bring harm to ourselves. In the sheep’s case, it is very dangerous, life-threatening, actually to remain unshorn. For us, human “sheep” it is equally dangerous to resist the will of our Heavenly Master, for we will miss the blessing and joy of walking in the middle of God’s great plan for our lives. That in itself is a kind of death–a kind I know from experience I do not want.
Thank God, our Great Shepherd knows just where to lead us. May we, like sheep, follow Him faithfully and always be willing to surrender. When we do-blessings await!
Dearest Father, You are a Shepherd I can trust. You have spoken and I have heard Your voice leading me. You have never led me into harm, but always led me to a place that is far better than wherever I would have chosen to go on my own. Please, Lord, lead me. I will do my best to follow and to surrender to Your Will. I want what You want, truly. Amen