The Goat Herder

November 21, 2009
by Lynne Phipps

Exodus 4:13 – But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." (NIV)

One of my dachshunds has a special gift. Hoss is a goat herder. With his extremely short legs, long body, and the typically large head of the wire-haired variety, people often find Hoss's appearance quite comical, and at first glance, his movements seem to be unwieldy. In fact, Hoss's looks are often the butt of people's laughter, which is fine with him, as his other gift is to be a clown. Nonetheless, when Hoss wants our goats to do what they are told, they do it. His long, low body is amazingly agile and quick, and he has a special knack of darting in and out to avoid the horns of our boss goat, Lucy. Before they know what's happening, those goats are exactly where he wants them to be — whether they like it or not!

As I have watched in amazement how this little fellow enjoys and uses his herding instinct, I have been reminded that God often picks those that others might consider the most unlikely to do His work.

1 Corinthians 1:27 – But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (NIV)

God chose a very reluctant Moses, who it is believed had a speech impediment, to go and speak to Pharaoh to set his people free.

God chose Paul, a chief persecutor of the early church, to become one of the most famous and influential Christian writers, teachers, missionaries, and preachers of all time.

God chose Timothy, a very young man, to go forth as a senior pastor to the early church.

Each of these people suffered abuse and difficulty due to the gifts God had given them and the work to which He called them. Each of them even had times when they struggled within, concerning the work set before them. Yet amidst it all, God used them to accomplish His purposes — as unlikely as each of them seemed to be to others, as well as to themselves.

What about you? What about me? What gift or gifts has God given us? What work has He called us to? Are we embracing who we are in Christ, or is something holding us back? Perhaps, we are held back by the fear of what other people think or what they might say or do — maybe even the thought of their laughter, or our own shortcomings.

Whatever it may be, God wants us to put it aside and remember that nothing is impossible with Him.

Moses did it. Paul did it. Timothy did it. And so can we.

Prayer: Lord God and wonderful heavenly Father, thank You for our gift(s) and the work You have called us to. Encourage our hearts and faith this day to enable us to embrace Your will and way for our lives, no matter what anyone else may think, say, or do. Use us to accomplish the impossible for Your kingdom in the world as we know it. In Christ's name we ask. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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