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Listen for your Shepherd
Spring is here! The flowers are peeking out of the ground. The birds are singing. And the best thing? The new lambs are being born!
One of my friends used to raise sheep. In the spring, the mommy sheep at my shepherd-friend’s farm had little lambs. Those lambs were so cute with their stubby, rough wool.
When I visited the sheep, they knew I was a stranger. They didn’t want to come see me. Even if I called them they wouldn’t come, because they didn’t recognize my voice. So instead I waited quietly and stayed very still by the fence.
My shepherd-friend went into the sheep pen and called to them. They knew his voice because he was their shepherd. They knew he gave them everything they needed to be safe and well. They trusted him. He took some grain in his hand, and they followed him to the fence. Then he put grain in my hand, and those little lambs nibbled it all up. It tickled! I also got to pat their woolly backs.
When I was a little girl attending the Christian Science Sunday School, I learned that we can think of God like a shepherd, just like it says in the Bible: “The Lord is my shepherd” (Psalms 23:1). Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, loved to think of God as a shepherd. She wrote a hymn that we sang in Sunday School. Do you know it? It starts, “Shepherd, show me how to go / O’er the hillside steep.” One part of the hymn that I like to think about says, “I will listen for Thy voice / Lest my footsteps stray” (Christian Science Hymnal, No. 304). To me that means I make a promise to God, my Shepherd, to listen only to His voice. And I know I can make that promise because God’s voice is comforting, trustworthy. It guides me and keeps me safe.
One time one of my shoulders hurt a lot, and it made me feel like crying. But I knew I could be just like one of God’s loved little lambs and listen only to what He was telling me. The pain made me think, Ouch. But when I listened to God, I heard Him say, “You and I are always together. You can trust Me. I always keep you safe and well. My love for you is forever.”
Listening to God made me see how He guides my thoughts to what is good and true, just like a good shepherd guides his sheep. That right thinking hushed the voice of fear and pain, and I was healed just like that!
I made a promise to listen only for God’s voice, and you can, too. Just like my shepherd-friend’s sheep, who followed his voice because they trusted him, we can follow God’s voice because we know He is only good. That’s why we trust Him. When we listen to our Shepherd, He always keeps us safe.
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