The attentiveness of shepherding has become more clear to me this year with our ewes and lambs needing extra care and help. On many days this has meant feeding animals four times a day and administering medication. One of our lambs, and possibly the mother, would not have survived without assistance at birth.
Juliet and I have reflected on Isaiah 40:11 that beautifully describes God as our shepherd: “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Tending a flock is an active process. God does whatever is needed to nurture and protect his people, doing it with deep care and compassion.
God also calls us to get involved with ‘tending’ and caring for others. Good shepherding leads people to spiritual food. It requires us to be close enough to others to know their needs, willingness to be inconvenienced as we help, and a heart of love and compassion. In all of our shepherding we are junior partners with God, our ultimate Good Shepherd.
Questions to reflect on
1. Who could you be a good shepherd to?
2. What does this person need? How might you help meet these needs? Ask God to lead you and to be at work in your friend’s life.