My arrival to the sunshine state with a toddler and infant was just a few weeks before the storm. Ed would just barely arrive before they closed the airport. We were together to face what would be a scary start to our Florida life!
Living through the passing of the hurricane through our neighborhood and the damage the storm inflicted on us was intense and immense. It was like nothing I had ever experienced or want to experience again. We were safe, which we were grateful for, but soon the thoughts of doubt-questioning had we made the right-move seeped in. Had we missed God’s direction we felt so sure of earlier?
The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me. (Psalm 23:1-4, AMP).
Having the benefit of eighteen years behind me, I can definitively say we didn’t miss God! Was making that move and starting a new life easy? No, not by a long shot! But here’s the takeaway: The LORD has shown me He is my shepherd. He knows His flock and what they need. I have what I need because He knows me.
He guided us with peaceful direction to the right place to settle. Like a shepherd to His sheep, we were protected and guided. We were comforted and consoled as day-to-day challenges, setbacks, and doubtful moments came. And not surprisingly, through it all His good name has been glorified.
Why? Not because we are so adept at hearing from Him but because this is His plan for us. He longs for us to rely on Him so we can walk in His plan and purpose for our individual lives. He intends for others to see what He is working in our lives so they too will choose this life.
Finally, His leading isn’t based upon if I follow well. He leads me because He loves me. He leads me so I will learn to follow Him better. Scripture has given us the imagery of the LORD as a shepherd to show us like sheep, we need a guide. We are created to be led with His care through all of life’s ups and downs. What a good Shepherd we have!