Monotonous. Tedious. Lonely. Boring. Safe. Those words may aptly describe the life of a sheepherder like Moses. They may also describe your life.
In the above Scripture, we find Moses tending sheep…or hiding. It really depends on how deeply you delve into the account of his life. You may remember that Moses’ life began quite dramatically: a threat to his life, a river rescue, and adoption into the house of Pharaoh. But after growing up and learning his true identity as a Hebrew, and killing an Egyptian, we find our hero living a life that is much less than dramatic. Moses became a shepherd, and he lived a life that likely became monotonous, tedious, lonely, boring and safe.
Enter God and His purpose. God had heard the cries of His people who were slaves in Egypt and He chose Moses to lead them out of their slavery. If you’re not familiar with the story, you might expect Moses to be rather excited about this new adventure. Something new has come along, an opportunity to do something great for God, to be someone great. But, that was not the case. If you look carefully into the text, you’ll see that Moses was simply afraid. He attempted to wriggle out of God’s assignment. In fact, the conversation between God and Moses gets quite heated with Moses making excuses, asking God to send someone else, asking for a sign and other seemingly cowardly responses. But God was clear. “I am sending you….” In essence, God told Moses, “The sheep won’t miss you. This is the reason you were born.”
Doesn’t that resonate somewhere deep within you? Isn’t your life meant to be more than monotonous, tedious, lonely, boring and safe? What if God really does have a purpose for you? Esther 4: 14b reads, “And who knows but that you have come to a royal position for such a time as this?”
Your life is not an accident. God loves you and calls us each to a life of great significance, no matter your circumstances. Do you believe it or are you hiding from the past, afraid to enter into the future God has for you? Now, be aware that following God’s purpose often requires great sacrifice. But, living for God’s purpose makes a life worth living.
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What “sheep” are you continuing to tend, even though it’s time for you to move on?
Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:12-13
Leslie Snyder is a youth and family ministry veteran currently serving in the Kansas City area with her husband and three kids
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