The lead ewe stood stock still, occasionally stamping one foot on the ground. The Border collie did not flinch.
I knew who would win this stare down. I had seen it many times in the paddock or in the stock yards. The Border collie was well trained. The ewe was all bluff.
Once the game was over, the ewe led the flock of sheep through the open gate, the dog trailing quietly behind, gently nudging the stragglers until all were through and the gate secure. Then she trotted over, sat at her handler’s feet, and waited patiently for her pat and praise.
Even when I was distracted and forgot to acknowledge a job well done, I could still rely on her to fulfil her role. She was faithful and trustworthy, eager to obey and quick to respond to commands. She knew she was loved, and pleasing her master seemed praise enough.
So often, we try to be like the lead ewe. God directs us in the way we should go, but we play a bluff game. We try to be boss for a while, stamp our feet, and stare down God’s directive. Then we finally give in when we realize God has the Holy Spirit, like a dog handler, lovingly watching our every move—ready to redirect or discipline if necessary.
Good sheep dogs take time to develop and mature and so do fully committed disciples of Jesus. God wants us to be well trained by His Word in the things of life. This takes time. Time spent with Him, reading and meditating, practicing what His Word tells us to do until we are obedient, disciplined, and useful in His service. Maturity is simply knowing we have pleased the Master.
Being a trustworthy servant will lead to being a friend of God, and that is something to cherish. Imagine the look of pleasure and love on Father God’s face when He looks at you and affirms a job well done.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)