I just finished reading a little book one of my friends gave me called Lessons from a Sheep Dog by Phillip Keller.
Keller died in 2001. He was, among many things, a wildlife photographer, shepherd, naturalist and author.
This particular book is based on his experience with a wayward, neglected sheep dog that he rescued and trained. From the dog, he learned much about his own relationship with the Lord.
I underlined so much of the book that I decided to copy these impacting lessons into notes and as I wrote them, I discovered five things that I would suggest would make excellent prayer requests for all of us who claim to follow Christ.
I am sharing them this week…
Phillip Keller writes that there are times when a shepherd has work to do, for instance repairing a broken fence, that requires him to leave the flock under the care of his sheep dog in one location, while he goes and works in another.
His dog did not understand that when her master disappeared, it was her job to remain faithfully watching the sheep until Phillip returned.
The dog would become restless, wanting to find her master and be close to him.
The animal enjoyed being actively involved in what the shepherd was doing; as well as enjoying the companionship that they shared.
Of course, if the sheep dog left her position…the sheep scattered and often came to harm because of the dog breaking faith.
Phillip Keller says it so well, as he points out that we all desire AND have the capacity to be the hero:
“But it takes a much more steadfast faith in our Father to stay true in the quiet places where He puts us.” *
Often in this journey, Jesus seems far removed from my every day life.
Oh, I love Him and I know He loves me.
I pray and I sing and I read and apply His word to my daily living…
and there are glimpses of His Hand…
times of assurance that I am on track and on task…
but much of this Christian life is lived by faith…
by trust that He is working somewhere that I cannot see at the moment.
And so in those times when I cannot see Him, or sense Him, or feel His presence, as long as I know it is not sin that has separated me from Him, then I am to continue tending to that which I have been given to do until I receive further instruction.
And so I am adding to my prayer list this simple prayer request…
Lord, help me to “wait well”…to keep watch over the “flock” You have assigned me; even when I cannot see the Shepherd. I pray that I will be found faithful when He returns. Help me, Lord, to not grow restless when the work becomes tedious and there is little to capture my attention. Keep me alert and diligent to continue to serve You steadfastly wherever You have placed me <3
*Lessons from a Sheep Dog; Phillip Keller, Thomas Nelson 2002; page 44