Over the weekend, I found myself twenty-five minutes outside of town on an expansive farm where I sat beside a pond in the afternoon light. Nate and his co-worker caught fish while I read one of the most honest memoirs I’ve ever held in my hands.
When it was time to go in, we stopped first to feed the animals. It happened to be that time of day when light, that can only be described as magical, washed over the land. A small flock of sheep gathered in the barn, eagerly, but calmly, awaiting their evening sustenance.
I took the above photo of them as they were called to feed, and I couldn’t help but notice how they made their way into that magical light toward their very basic need for the day. They came when they were called. They ate and were sustained. This practice is a daily one.
Each day, I participate in the same practice. Except when I’m the one meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning up, I can easily forget that the food I prepare is not on my plate because of anything I’ve done to deserve it. It is there because God has graciously promised to provide for His sheep. But when I forget about His provision and put pressure on myself to attain a certain lifestyle, I find myself wrapped up in fear of the future.
What if Nate and I find out about his next rotation too late and can’t find a place to live? What if I don’t want to move? What if, in however many years, we decide to start a family and that family doesn’t look like the one I picture in my head? Will the words I write matter to anyone? Will I hear any horrible news today about someone I know? What kind of danger is our country really in?
Through my worrisome list of questions, a gentle voice reaches me:
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32
We are compared to sheep in the Bible for good reason. Without the guidance of our Shepherd, we fall away from the flock and become hungry for much more than a simple meal.
I am one of His little flock. By His grace and mercy, despite any fear, despite any feelings of loneliness, insignificance or instability, my basic daily needs cannot go unmet because my Shepherd laid down His life for me. When I seek Him, my spiritual hunger is fulfilled by His love and care. And one day, all desire and longing for more than this world can offer will come true.For an excellent book about recognizing and celebrating our smallness in the presence of God, check out Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman. After reading Simply Tuesday, I am looking at my work, my home, my marriage, my relationships, and my soul in a new, revitalizing way as I make small steps toward furthering the kingdom of God, choosing to recognize the way my small, ordinary moments are weaved together for His extraordinary glory.