When I was a kid I never had a comeback. There was a season where I was severely picked on and my responses were always the same — tears and a misplaced cuss word I’d heard from watching Top Gun or ET that I didn’t even know what it meant. Let’s just say I was the one who at the end of these interactions got in trouble. As the the years progressed I honed my comeback skills and my emotions became more uncontrollable. I became a person who reacted to everything with a sassy comeback or some verbal dart that left me feeling awesome and the person on the receiving end feeling demoralized. See, I lived my life reacting to everything going on in my world instead of responding with the peace that surpasses all understanding. Truth is, in my 20’s I rarely sought God when faced with emotional bombs, I just trusted my gut feeling and reacted. This left me usually pretty frustrated and was incredibly unwise. Thankfully Jesus saw fit to intervene, He surrounded me with healthy relationships that taught me the art of the response.
I was reading John 10 this morning and the Lord reminded me that I still struggle with reacting. We dialogued, as usual, and it went something like this:
God: You may want to work on hearing my voice better…this will help with your tenancies to overreact when I need you to respond…
Me: ( defensive tone ) What do you mean?? I hear you all the time!!
God: …like I was saying before you overreacted and cut me off, If you take pause to hear my voice you won’t overreact. I will lead you.
Frustrated, I reluctantly continued on with my devo and when I got to John 10:27 I stopped…
My sheep respond as they hear My voice; I know them intimately, and they follow Me…
Me: Oh…eesh. I see what ya did there…
God: Yea. ( blink, blink )
I am not a sheep expert, but what I do know is that they respond to the shepherds voice and when they hear a strangers voice they scatter.
Random Interjection: I recently read a book called The Way of the Shepherd: 7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Productive People , it changed the way I look at sheep and shepherds and as I read this story in the Bible it gave me incredible insight and perspective.
Sheep are loyal and they are super intenso when it comes to the shepherd. They move when he moves, they want to be in His presence, they understand why he carries the staff and they are okay when he uses it to direct them. I sat on my couch, drinking my coffee and I reflected … If we are His sheep and He is our shepherd then trust should be a given and responding to His voice should be our default. I don’t know what you are walking through today, or if you are like me (a chronic overreactor) but God’s desire for us is to draw near and respond to the things that come our way with peace, and joy, and compassion. Our response should always be one that is filtered through our trust in the shepherd.
I am His, and His voice is ever present…I just need to be listening.