God Wants Us To Trust Him
"And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers." (John 10: 4-5)
Mary had a little lamb, her fleece was white as snow, and everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go. This nursery rhyme meant quite a bit to Mary, because she really did have a lamb that wanted to follow her everywhere. Her father wasn't exactly a "shepherd," but he was in charge of a ranch that raised sheep. Mary loved to go with her father whenever he would check on the flocks. One day, he asked Mary if she would like to help him take care of a special little lamb.
This little lamb's mother had died, and the lamb had also been born blind. Mary's job was to feed the lamb with a bottle every day. She also checked his coat too make sure it was not scratched or dirty. Mary named the lamb "Fluffy." Soon, Fluffy learned to recognize Mary's voice. Even though Fluffy was blind, as long as he could hear Mary, he would follow her anywhere she went.
Some of the ranch workers would try calling to Fluffy, to see if he would follow them, but he never did. He listened only to Mary, and he really did follow her voice anywhere. Once, Mary and Fluffy even got in trouble with Mary's mom, because they came walking into the living room where Mary's mom was having a meeting with some other ladies in the neighborhood!
Why do you think Fluffy would follow Mary, but not the ranch workers? Fluffy knew that Mary had been was the one who fed him and took care of him. Fluffy had learned that Mary would never hurt him in any way. Fluffy could tell Mary's voice apart from any others, and there was no one else he cared to follow. Fluffy was just a lamb, and he was also blind; but he still knew enough to know he belonged to Mary and could trust her care.
In chapter 10 of John, Jesus refers to Himself as our Shepherd. As we experience God's daily love and care for us, we learn that we can trust Him wherever He leads. By reading our Bibles and praying daily, we learn more of Him, which helps our trust grow even stronger. We can grow closer to Him every day, and we can learn to tune out the other influences in our lives that might lead us astray. What a wonderful Shepherd we have!
God has daily proven His love and power, and we can rest safely in His care.
» Am I willing to submit to and follow a loving God?
» How can I draw nearer to God every day?
» How does God's trustworthiness compare to the other "voices" and desires that call out for me to follow them?
Truth In Real Life
Ann Hasseltine Judson
“Direct me in Thy service, and I ask no more. I would not choose my position of work, or place of labor. Only let me know Thy will, and I will readily comply.”
Born on December 22, 1789, Ann Hasseltine was just an ordinary girl who became a remarkable wife, mother, teacher, translator, and the first woman American missionary to travel outside of the country.
Ann was saved at age 16. During her twenties, she met a man studying missions at a seminary near her home. His name was Adoniram Judson. Two years later, they were married, and the day after their wedding, they left for the mission field of India.
Aside from her husband, Ann was alone in a sense on the mission field. She lived in India and then Burma with no family, no friends, and no children. A baby boy was eventually born to her, but just eight months later, little Roger William Judson died of terrible cholera. Ann did not complain.
Adorinam Judson was once accused of being a spy and was put in “death prison.” Despite her own illness at the time, Ann continued to take care of him, taking him food every day. Her husband likely would have died without her faithfulness in caring for him. Imagine the souls that never would have been saved! 63 churches and 7,000 converts might have reason to be grateful to God for giving Judson such a self-sacrificing, servant-hearted wife.
Judson recovered for a time and got to go home, but Ann never got truly well again. She died on the mission field. When Adoniram Judson had originally written to Ann’s father to request her hand in marriage, he asked Mr. Hasseltine whether he could be willing to part with his daughter forever. In those days, travel was by sea-voyage, so it was awfully limited, long-lasting, and expensive. Missionaries did not come home every four years or so for a break. And life overseas was so physically dangerous that usually, a commitment to missions was a lifetime commitment – many missionaries never returned home alive from the field. By God’s grace, Mr. Hasseltine was able to say “yes,” and Ann also willingly gave the rest of her life to Jesus Christ, her husband, and to spreading the Gospel for God’s glory.
What are you willing to sacrifice for Christ? What items or people do you hold so dear that you would hesitate before trusting and obeying God’s leading for your life? If Jesus Christ truly is our greatest possession, sharing Him with the lost should be our greatest joy.
1 Timothy 6:7 – For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.