Shepherding Made Easy?
Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.’” The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it.
Wouldn’t it be nice if every shepherding role in life came equipped with a miracle staff like this? It sure seems like that would alleviate a world of heartache, wouldn’t it? Imagine if every time you told your kids, “Eat your broccoli—it’s good for you!”, and they responded with a huff and a puff, “bluh—it’s gross, I don’t want to!”, you could just throw your parent-staff to the table, watch it transfigure into a serpent, and then you’d hear the wonderful sound of kids chomping down their vegetables with urgency. “Wow, mom—you’re right! … (munch…munch…munch) …these really are delicious!” Or what if when you felt God call you to move out of state or accept a new job or go back to school, and you shared the news with your wife only to have her roll her eyes and say, “Come on, honey—not this again—God doesn’t want to uproot our lives right now!”, you could just flick your wrist, hear the wonderful sound of a rattle and hiss on the floor, and your spouse would happily start packing bags? Well, Moses will soon learn the hard way that leadership means shepherding people who don’t listen or obey or trust right away, and even having a special miracle-staff won’t change the hearts of most. Think about it, friend: did the majority of family members believe Mary when she told them God had conceived the child in her womb? Did the majority of religious elites believe John the Baptizer when he told them the Kingdom of God was near? Did the majority of Jews believe in Jesus even after He rose from the dead? No! Because most people just won’t trust God, with or without a miracle.
So, friend, be faithful today in your shepherding commission even if the staff you carry isn’t all that special. And remember: God measures your success by obedience, not by how the number of subscribers.