“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
When I started farming I had NEVER managed livestock and would NEVER have been labeled an “outdoorsy person”. In fact, my real job was digital marketing in the retail industry.
But God is able.
“Don’t be a farmer.”
“You could make more money in one week than you’ll ever make from that flock.”
“Those sheep aren’t worth it.”
These are things I heard when I became interested in Regenerative Agriculture this year.
And, from an external perspective, they were all right… I felt crazy too. But at the end of the day becoming the Shepherdess of this flock was not a choice I made, but a calling I received. And one day at a time I am stepping into what I believe that Lord wants for me.
What does it take to be a shepherdess? T-I-M-E. Time. If there is anything I’ve learned from this journey is that sheep need your time. The more you give them, the better they respond to your management.
It hasn’t changed since the beginning of time: sheep need a shepherd(ess). When you leave sheep to themselves they deteriorate. When you take the time to shepherd them, they thrive. Under the care of a shepherd(ess) sheep change. They begin to trust, they begin to follow, they begin to understand the way you work and move in response to your behavior.
And if you draw it back to Christ, the Great Shepherd, it is the same. He is always there: telling us to draw near to Him, seeking us when we stray, never leaving or forsaking us. He gives us not only His time, but He gave us His life on the cross.
So I look at these sheep with dirty knees: totally reliant, kind of dumb… and I see myself.
Then I switch to the perspective I have as their shepherdess: When they are thriving, I am happy; when they stray (aka: bust out of the electric fence), I am grieved. With this shift in perspective I get a glimpse at the love of Christ.
It is a love that relies not on my capabilities, but rather, Who He is and what I am to Him.
“For you were as sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:25