Stacy Creech, a missionary in Senegal wrote about “Goats and Goodbyes” in a recent Ethnos360 newsletter. Apparently, there was a move in her future and it was causing some anxiety in her heart.
Change can do that.
She wrote, “I was standing in our bedroom, folding clothes as we prepared to leave our third ‘home’ in three months. I crossed to the window to see if I could find out who was wailing outside.
It was a goat. Pegged into the grass on the other side of the road. Alone. It kept jerking and pulling on the rope, desperate to get back with the group that was further down the road. I felt tears welling up in my eyes.
It wasn’t for the goat, although I did feel bad for it. Those tears were for me. As I was getting ready to wallow, I noticed something. The goatherd had pegged each of the goats at a distance from one another so that they would have the optimal amount of grass to eat. The goat might not understand this, but the goatherd did.
Like that goat, I cling to comfort. I want security. I will always want to be where I feel most at ease. Also like that goat, I don’t truly know the best place for me. But I know the One who does…”
I am very much like Stacy. I too like routine and change is a challenge. And, I will bet that at least some of the time, you are like that too.
This week is a great time to notice the care of our shepherd. He is placing us (the goats) just far apart enough to ensure that we have plenty of what we need in order to grow. Those circumstances that seem to be crowding us a bit; those relationships that we have to address and those opportunities that are difficult to embrace may very well be the exact fodder God wants to use for our spiritual development.
He knows what we need. We can have confidence that He will orchestrate things in a way that maximizes our opportunity to grow.
So, instead of straining at the leash, let’s take a few moments and thank the Lord for His care.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.” (Ps. 23)