“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep, and they know me…My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:11, 14, 27 (New Living Translation)
We all hear voices. Don’t look at me like that. You know you do. So do I. The question isn’t whether or not we hear those voices in your head. The question is: which voice do you listen to? Awhile back, I began to seek the voice that would guide me. It didn’t take me long to realize that the voice I was looking for was His.
The voice of God. The call of the Shepherd.
I had a friend ask me, “Yeah but how do you know it’s Him?” I said, “Well, I just know. I know in my knower, ya know?” Seriously, it’s a valid question. First of all, I think we must recognize that we are sheep in need of a shepherd, wandering souls looking for meaning. We must, secondly, know the Shepherd. It’s hard to know the Shepherd at times.
He’s the ghostly figure in the night standing watch over our hearts and minds, protecting us from the predators, leading us to life giving water. He’s the one we so often take for granted and the one who never takes us for granted.
You have to know Him before you can recognize His voice. Once you know Him, you know His voice. It’s already there, we just have to read it in His word, recognize its song in our heart and act on it. The Shepherd will never guide you where His word will not take you.
A perfect example of this was shown to me recently. Every year, my extended family gets together to go Christmas caroling. One of my cousins brought her young daughter this year. Quick hit here: my dad is an identical twin. It has bearing on this story. So, my uncle’s daughter, Lori, brought her daughter, Sadie. We were standing in my aunt’s living room, all of us talking simultaneously. Sadie, being held by Lori, saw my dad. She looked at him, turned her head and looked at my uncle. You could see the obvious confusion on her face. She kept looking back and forth between them with that ‘what’s goin’ on’ look on her face. My dad said, “You want to come to me?” and held his hands out. Sadie again looked back and forth between them. My uncle smiled at her and simply said her name. “Sadie.” I saw her eyes light up. She turned to the voice she knew, smiled and reached out her arms to her grandfather.
Isn’t this true of us? We are so confused so often. We are looking back and forth between our options, considering our lives, choices to be made. Which way do we turn, how do we know which way to go? Then, the Father speaks, our Shepherd calls. We turn and He welcomes us with a smile and open arms.