Proverbs – the book of wisdom – and who of us does not need more wisdom to navigate these days in which we find ourselves. Within each chapter we find practical guidance on making good choices, relationships, and how to avoid trouble.
When the pandemic hit and we were put under stay-at-home orders, we were not seeing our family. The days stretched on and our hearts were longing to hug each one as our eyes feasted on the sight of them through Facetime.
As the orders were lifted and we were able to begin visiting, we did so with caution, creating what was now termed as “our social bubble”. The visits were done with caution and always outside.
My heart was stirred to be creative, thinking of ways to have my family visits outside as the weather was still cooler and so began our weekly visits and we enjoyed:
- our typical Christmas brunch in May
- lunches together
- Sunday dinners at 3PM before it got too cold on the patio
Of course, now with summer, our visits are longer as the weather permits, but one thing has stayed in the forefront of my mind and that is the verse which stirred my creativity:
“Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds.”
(Proverbs 27:23, NLT)
The verse has often been applied to pastors. It’s interesting that it was originally written to be practical advice to sheep herders. Goat milk was a valuable and much needed commodity in biblical days. The only way to make sure there was sufficient goat’s milk for a family was to be diligent and attentive to the flock.
God stirred my heart to tend to my flocks – my very own family. It was the word ‘tend’ which grabbed my attention and I soon learned it means to effectively do or lead in a particular direction.
The news we all were hearing each day was depressing, and could easily lead any of us to be filled with anxiety. Tending to my flocks began to take on an entirely new meaning.
As this time continues to unfold, may we tend to the flocks the Lord has given us:
- Take time to know their state and encourage them.
- Lift their heads and eyes to look to the Lord for help.
- Give them needed and personal attention.
- Care for them in a loving and gentle way.
May we look to the example of our Shepherd who tends to we, His sheep, with the best of care. As we follow His example, may our flocks look to follow Him, the one and only true Shepherd:
“But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.” (John 10:2-4, NLT)