I don’t think that there are a lot of differences between being a shepherd and being a cattleman…the animals they both deal with are dumb either way. Sheep or cattle, left to their own devices, will wonder off and get themselves into fixes they can’t get out of….much like people. We all need a shepherd.
My knowledge, what little I have, is in cattle. My father was the “shepherd”. The cows would hear him open the back door to the house and they would come to the barn. Now he wasn’t always on his way to feed them, but they still came because he had trained them to come when he called….so they started coming before he called.
They knew his voice. Daddy could just walk to the fence, give a call, and they would come running. The cattle expected something from him….and he gave what they expected. I have to share a quick story about a mule my father sold to a lady in another state. He warned her that she would need to keep the mule in the barn until he got used to her, but she didn’t listen and let it out into a big field….at which point the mule refused to come near her again.
After numerous failed attempts to coax the mule into their barn, the new owner finally called my father and asked him to do something he has never done before….over the phone (taken to the fence of the field where the mule was running free), my father called to the mule…..and the mule responded, came, pretty as you please to the fence and allowed the new owner to catch him.
The animal knew the voice of his shepherd and responded.
Well….the Lord is my Shepherd….He provides all my needs…He gives me rest in quiet places, by the still waters where my soul is restored. For His sake, He leads me to righteousness. When I walk down the valleys that scare me to death, I can fear no evil, He has already been there and cleared the path for me. When I’m the dumb animal, I sometimes lose sight of my Shepherd and wander away, but He comes and gets me, with prodding, and comforts me with His love, protection, and even correction. While in the midst of my enemies, He prepares for me a table where He anoints me to do His work. He is so good to me, it’s unbelievable. I know without a shadow of doubt that His goodness and mercy will always be with me. And one day…one glorious day…I will dwell with Him in His house for all eternity.
Thank you, Lord, for being my Shepherd, for leading and guiding me, through every situation. For Your correction, for Your love. I love to hear Your voice call to me. I long for the day that we will see each other face to face. Amen