Friday, June 7, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Sheep and The Good Shepherd's Voice

The Shepherd’s Voice
A devotional by Mirachelle Canada

“The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” ~John 10:2-4 (NIV)

I was 21 and an student-teacher in London, England, when I found myself aimlessly wandering the streets at night, desperate to get away. The day had gone awry and I felt like an utter failure. I encountered a darkened path with a lone bench to conceal me from the world.

An occasional car rumbled passed on the street beyond my secret place. I tried to pray but my mind was cluttered with anger and confusion. Why He had brought me so far just to fail?

I suddenly felt something moist brush over my hands and my fingertips press into a soft, silk furry body. It was a dog...but not just any dog. I recognized the silky, red Irish Setter breed immediately.

A stern voice called out, "Lady!" A slender man with white hair and mustache came bounding toward us and grabbed the setter by the collar. Lady sat instantly and stared up at him. "I’m dreadfully sorry, Miss. I didn't know anyone would be in here this time of night."

Lady inched toward me. "No, Lady.” He patted his leg. "Stay." The dog sat again.

"That's alright," I said with genuine smile. "I love dogs." You have no idea, sir, that I grew up with this exact breed of dog. And the first one my parents owned was named Lady.

"Ah, you're American!" He observed.

I winced. It was that fact, among others, that had not helped me win the day.

Lady nudged him. "Ah, go on, girl. Do your business." She trotted toward the bushes.

Do her business? Had he bring his dog into this garden to poop and pee?!

"You must be wondering why I would bring my dog here to do her business."

I froze. Was he reading my mind?

"You see, I figure she's got to have a place to go, and in return she leaves behind something useful to help the plants and trees to grow." He praised Lady when she returned to his side.

"She's a good dog," I said, "She really listens to you."

"She's young that. But she listens to my voice to know what she should do. She knows who her master is.” He patted her head as she wagged her tail wildly and panting with glee.

He tipped his hat at me. "I wish you the best in our fair city, Miss." He looked to Lady. "Come on, girl." He tapped his side again. "Time to go."

The man and his bonny dog meandered out the garden gate. He whistled lowly as they went, eventually out of my sight. Moments later I was met with a stilled world again.

She listens to my voice to know what she should do...She knows who her master is.

The words resonated within my heart. I was exactly like Lady. Young, inexperienced and in need of my Master’s direction. I needed the Good Shepherd to guide me, but I had forgotten the importance of listening to His voice so He could guide my path.

So often in the midst of trouble, especially when we are young or new to Christ, we can become that forgetful sheep that wanders aimlessly from safety, then cries out for help when we feel lost. Thankfully, the Good Shepherd (Jesus Christ) is there with us, ready to rescue us from ourselves. 

Once we are listening, He calls us by name to bring us out then goes on ahead of us so that we can continue to follow after Him on the perfect path, as we learn to wait and trust in His voice alone.

Author Bio:
Mirachelle Canada is a writer, playwright, screenwriter and theatre director/producer from Northern Virginia. She teaches television production at C.D. Hylton Senior High School. 

She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Script & Screenwriting from Regent University and is a member of Act One: Hollywood Film & Television Writing Program, American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), ACFW Virginia Chapter, The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, and Your Novel Blueprint.

Mirachelle is passionate about awakening creativity and the gifts of God in everyone. She is currently working on her first historical fiction novel set during WWII, inspired by her time studying theatre education in London, England.

In her spare time, she also writes and directs Christmas and Easter passion plays at Christ Chapel Assembly of God in Woodbridge, VA.

Connect with Mirachelle:

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