Shulamite Ministries used to host a yearly trip to Israel – 10 to 14 days of traveling throughout the Holy Land. I learned a lot about shepherding people during this time, as I was the coordinator and facilitated events and happenings. I had some of the most fun times on these trips and I treasure the experience. It’s really funny that the Lord took me out of the field with sheep and goats, and then led me into the field of shepherding people through the Holy Land. Who knew!
One of the things I noticed was that my peeps usually didn’t understand what was transpiring behind the scenes. Often I would have one or two complaining about me always being the last one on the bus. To illustrate my point, let me share with you what I did that caused me to be last aboard the bus.
All the travelers needed to have their bags out and ready for the bellman to pick up when they went to breakfast. Then after breakfast, they went to the bus and we would start the day. Everyone was on the bus waiting to go, and after about five or so minutes, I would get on the bus and we’d leave. Inevitably one or two people would call out a snide comment like, “Last on the bus again, John!”
It made me laugh because they had no idea what happened that made me “late.” I had to make sure that everybody’s luggage was out of each hotel we visited and on the bus; all the wait staff that served us during our stay had to be taken care of; the housekeeping staff that cleaned our rooms needed to be thanked and tipped; the bellmen who handled our bags and the management of the hotel who signed off on us – they all needed to be addressed and handled with care. I had to tip each of these people with our collective funds. I was also making sure that nobody left anything, thereby avoiding delay further down the road when someone discovers that they left a passport.
So behind the scenes, there was a whole undergirding to make the trip smooth. But in my flock, there were some that complained. I now know, in a small part, how Moses felt. Hahaha!
So how does this relate to anything in our current world? I believe our Shepherd God deals with us in similar fashion. Often He is arranging things, behind the scenes, that we don’t see. And because we don’t see them, we stand up and complain that they’re not being done correctly. “Wait a minute God, why isn’t this done the way it should be?” And He, just like He’s trained me, patiently smiles and continues on with the business of shepherding.
The Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules.
But Jesus replied, My Father is always working and so am I.
John 5:17 NLT
Our High Shepherd is never down on the job. Our faith in His character is what makes us trust in His actions. Though I may not currently see what He is doing, I have to know that as a good Father, He is at work. He is moving circumstances, events and happenings perfectly as my Shepherd today. I am not being slighted, shortchanged, or mistreated. No, I am being sufficiently cared for, watched after and loved.
This all is just a healthy reminder to me. My life is in trustworthy hands, hands that are moving heaven and earth to bring me to the place that I need to be. Will you believe with me as the Shepherd guides us on this tour of life?