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Shepherds Shielding in Storms
12/12/2019 7:00:00 AM by: Hannah Hunter

Shepherds Shielding in Storms

By: Hannah S. Hunter

 

Jeremiah 3:15(NLT) “I will give you a shepherd after my own heart, who will guide you with knowledge and understanding.”

This Christmas season we reflect on the shepherds who were truly given a golden engraved invitation to visit the King of Kings. This event was sandwiched between very dark days in Israel. Oppressive government and murdering of all males under two. Even the scripture shared here is a ray of hope in the midst of great departure by the nation from their GOD.

Why do you think the shepherds were the first to be given the news and only stated visitors other than the magi couple years later? What was in the heart of GOD? No religious leaders. No governmental leaders. Not even relatives came to call. Shepherd or sheep are named over five hundred times in the Bible. The function of a shepherd is the safety and welfare of his flock. In Latin shepherd means pastor.

Shepherd pastors do not get to choose their flock as the shepherds who have sheep herds do. I just returned from a mission in South Africa among the Zulu people. We passed through large beautiful farms mostly owned and run by Boers – meaning husbandman or farmer. They are the South African Dutch. I noted the sheep are now behind electric fences in large fields with no shepherd in sight. I doubt they know the names or character of their flocks. The sheep come to a barn or haven at night or in a storm while the Boer retreats to his house.

Shepherds of old spent much time in solitude and silence. I am realizing in this season we need to enlarge our secret place where solitude and silence are our attendants. The Good Shepherd downloads and speaks silently but loudest into our souls and spirits in silence and solitude.

Greatest men of faith, prophets, kings, warriors, and carriers of nations in their loins were shepherds. Moses, Abraham, Jacob, David, and Amos all were shepherds and encountered GOD in their secret places. Out of seemingly obscurity and destitution came the giants of faith. Who took their flocks through great storms safely. That is why He could trust to send invitations to the shepherds. They were never named, nor did we hear of them after their visitation.

We pass through things that seem to be useless. We wonder. We stay still and silent and watch as others rise, and the spotlight turns on them. Yet the Shepherd never misses nor wastes anything. This is where trust of the Shepherd enters and is a choice. Even, if like those shepherds invited to visit Him, we never know the answer to the four W’s- who, what, where, or why we know it fulfilled something for His kingdom advancement.

Reminds me of our appendix. No one really knows its purpose. Some feel it stores good bacteria and reboots our digestive system after GI upset. Some feel it is useless. No one pays it mind until it is diseased and causes pain. Yet GOD does not create junk nor carelessly. He holds the secret for why He put that in place.

In scheme of eternal things and in that view from the throne seated with Jesus we realize we do not need answers. Just trust!

Giving thanks and reflecting on shepherds in this season because GOD counted them the most honored guests at the birth of His Son. Let us also thank God for our earthly shepherds who labor and love us silently and often in solitude. Often so unappreciated and misunderstood. I bless God at any moment or in any storm my pastors are steps away. I thank God for my Kenyan pastor and son, Dan Ombija. I also could not do what I do without the support and steady him and voice of my pastors Curt and Anita Malizzi. The counsel and friendship of my pastors Joel and Karie Kolb have been calm in turbulence All have turned my twisting to soundness. They all carry the heart of the Great Shepherd and give knowledge and understanding.  Please receive my heartfelt thank you for being a gift to me in this season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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