Simple Shepherds, Intelligent Actions

“So, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion during the time of testing in the wilderness.'” Hebrews 3:7-8

Are you overwhelmed with how to fit in the time for spiritual activities? Maybe you are a mom with a new baby.  Maybe you are a student facing finals and looming deadlines.

Even when our lives are filled to overflowing with demands, God understands.  He is often the One who gave us these schedules!

In Luke 2:8 we read of shepherds, living out in the fields keeping watch at night.  The shepherds had a job that was also constantly demanding. They must consistently care for the sheep and forever watch their flock for intruders. They must protect them from harm and prevent each from wandering off and becoming lost.

They were diligently doing their job that night God wanted to communicate something very big to them.  So, while they were going about daily life fulfilling their obligations, He met them right where they were.

After they received the wonderful message from the angels and witnessed the wonder of a sky-wide chorus of praising angels, the shepherds revealed their hearts through their next choice of action:  each left his work in search of his Savior.

When God spoke to them, they were ready to listen.  Ready to set aside any other preoccupation, all other responsibilities. They dropped everything.

Then, after they had seen the Savior and reported the miraculous events to Mary and Joseph, they returned back to their jobs. But they returned as changed men. Each allowed the experience to settle over him and penetrate his heart, prompting praises from his lips as he returned to work.

What can these shepherds teach us?

1) They went about daily life, taking their jobs seriously, doing what needed to be done.

2) When God spoke, they noticed and listened.  They did not take their jobs so seriously that they did not have time for a divine interruption.

3) They were ready to move, even from very important responsibilities, when God requested it.

4) They allowed Him to teach and to change them.  When each returned to work, he was a changed man, and not afraid to express it.

5) Although he was changed, he “did not become so spiritually focused that he was no earthly good.” He returned to his tasks but did it while praising God.

God can and does still reach really busy people; we just need to be willing to be interrupted.

 

Reflections:

What have I learned from the shepherds?

On which of these points do I need to work?

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for authoring work for me today. And, Thank You for still interrupting my moments today. While there will always be physical needs to tend on this earth, I must allow myself to be interrupted for divine instruction.  Please teach me to discern when I must stop the work You have given me so I can learn more about You. Amen.

Thanks for reading!  Please return next Monday, December 22, for the next post.

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