Right now, at this very moment, you are being led. Lovingly led into good plans for your future. Led onto the right path to get you there. Led through valleys and dark shadows to bring you to the place your creator designed for you.

Who is leading you? It’s Jesus, your Good Shepherd.

Here’s the thing about a shepherd, they go ahead of their flock, and they lead them. They show the way. They clear the path. The sheep simply are called by the shepherd’s voice to follow him.

A cowboy is much different than a shepherd. A cowboy drives his herd. He pushes from behind. Maybe you’ve seen it in the movies, or you’ve watched the cowboys of Yellowstone driving their cattle. Cattle don’t follow well, they only go where they are forced to go.

So, the message today, girl don’t be a cow. God isn’t here to force you into anything. He doesn’t want to push you and make you go here and do that. He’s been trying to call you and lead you. You were created to follow him.

Jesus says in John 10:14 ““I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me.”

What you need to know is, Jesus, your good shepherd, has already gone before you in this. He’s not asking you to go anywhere he hasn’t already gone for you. He’s not pushing you and proding you, Sis, he’s calling you forward towards him. He’s leading you to the fullness of life he came to give you.

Jesus doesn’t expect you to be perfect in your journey. He KNOWS you. He knows sometimes you wander. He knows sometimes you get scared. He knows sometimes you overthink this whole thing and get overwhelmed. He knows sometimes you go charging off in your own direction and you get stuck in a hole. He knows all of this because the shepherd knows his sheep.

And you know him. You have to know Jesus will come looking for you time and time again. You have to know Jesus has not given up on you. He’s not mad at you. He’s not punishing you. Get to know the nature of your good shepherd. He’s a care taker. He’s a giver. He’s willing to give his life for you. He’s willing to lay everything down for you. And he’s relentlessly searching for you to bring you back close to him so he can lead you to the goodness that is ahead for you.

What’s ahead? Green pastures and flowing streams, my friend. Goodness. Provision. Blessings. Favor.

How do you get there? Follow the shepherd.

Lonnie and I are currently on a 4 day roadtrip from Dallas, Texas back to the turquoise waters of our Florida Keys. On roadtrips we love to talk about our 29 years of marriage, and remember back to the way things used to be, and how everything was all pieced together to bring us to where we are today. Our memories are growing a little fuzzy of how one thing led to the next, so we’re trying to revisit it all so we don’t forget. We don’t want to forget how God has been so faithful.

Yesterday we began talking about the season of life that we loving refer to as “Struggle and Stupid Decisions”. Our baby was less than a year old and Lonnie was getting out of the Army. We didn’t have jobs or a plan. Back in the day when the internet was rather new, I discovered a business that was looking for help, and most importantly, they wanted to pay for that help. Seemed perfect, because we needed a paycheck pronto!

We were promised the moon if we would move to Kansas City for 1 short month’s training, then we would we paid to open an office in Dallas. It all sounded just perfect, so we went. And it was a disaster. 1 month in Kansas City turned into several months. There were no paychecks. There was no office in Dallas. We had been tricked by a crooked business man and we were surviving buying groceries on a credit card. Until every credit card was maxed. Until we couldn’t any more.

So, we packed up and moved to Dallas on our own, with no jobs, no money, and no clue what we were doing. There, I stumbled into an office asking for a paid assistant position, and walked out with a plan to become a mortgage broker, and still no paycheck. And even crazier, they talked my husband into doing the same!

Both of us in this big, competitive business, with no salaries, no hourly pay, only commissions and we didn’t know anyone! Looking back, we see what an absolute disaster that was. Looking back I understand why my parents were so frustrated with us they didn’t speak to me for a little while.

And looking back, all these years later, we see how the struggle taught us lessons we would need for our great big future. We see how the wrong people taught us exactly who we didn’t want to be. We see how stumbling into a random office wasn’t random at all, WE WERE LED!

There, we were introduced to coaches and mentors that would transform our lives. We learned how to serve people and grow to become leaders. We learned money, how to make it, how to manage it, and how to not let it become your focus.

Now we see, what felt like a stumble back then was actually a leading of our shepherd to a path that would bring us to our green pastures of today. Not a single step was wasted. He was showing us things all along the way. Teaching us, guiding us, growing us, strengthening us. We had no idea where he was leading, we were just following a calling we didn’t fully understand.

And maybe that’s where you’re at right now. You’re following a calling you don’t fully understand. Heck, you don’t even realize there is a calling on your life, but there is. And your shepherd has been guiding you all this time. He’s been lovingly calling you forward.

You think you stumbled your way into your job… you didn’t. Your shepherd went before you and opened that door. You think you just happened to make a few things happen for yourself … you didn’t. Your shepherd led you there with a calling that got you up every morning and moved your feet in the right direction.

You can trust what God is doing. You can trust he is always leading you. You can know with absolute certainty that he has already gone before you, and he is making a way to get you where he has for you next.

Remember, Jesus is not a cowboy. He is not wrangling you. He’s not driving you. He’s not pushing you. That’s not what he does. He leads and he calls. He goes before you and he clears the way.

Jesus has already made a way through what you are going through. He knows exactly where the green pastures and flowing streams are, and he’s taking you there. He’s leading you step by step. It’s happening, you just don’t know it.

And let me tell you one more thing about your Good Shepherd. As he leads, he carries the ones who are hurting. He carries the ones who are weak. He carries the ones who need help. He doesn’t ever leave you behind. He doesn’t ever give up on you. He carries you.

If you need to be carried through this today, don’t hesitate to call out to the Good Shepherd. Remember, HE KNOWS YOU. He knows what you’re gong through. He knows how you’re feeling. He knows the thoughts you’ve been battling. He knows the struggle you don’t talk about. He knows. Ask him to pick you up and carry you where you can’t walk on your own today.

He will. I promise. That’s what shepherds do.

They lead. They guide. They go before. They make a way. They find. They rescue. They protect. And they carry. Jesus is your shepherd.

You, you are a sheep. You are not a cow. You are not here to be driven from behind, lassoed, forced and corralled. Don’t wait to be forced. Don’t wait until you HAVE to. That’s what cows do. You are not a cow. You are a sheep. You are created to follow a voice you know. A voice that has always been guiding you. You are here to follow your shepherd and walk a path set before you.

Don’t be a miserable cow today. Standing, refusing, resisting, mooing and complaining. That’s not who you are.

You are the trusting sheep, lovingly guided by the Good Shepherd, who is faithfully guiding you to the good plans for your life. Stay close to him today. And if you need to be carried, just ask!

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