I have been in “missions” since 1994 and been traveling around to a fair amount of countries, tribes and remote areas. I have seen a lot and experience quite a bit in my simple life. But never in my life of the last 25 years did I have a moment of about 5 seconds that left a profound imprint on my heart and mind like the one I am about to put on “paper with a trembling pen”.
If I close my eyes I can still see it and the surrounding area crystal clear with the emotion at that exact moment. It might be a “simple” moment for most of us but for me it struck right to the center of my heart and core of my life of who and what I am.
To be honest, the actual moment of 5 seconds actually defines everyone who declares and believe that Jesus Christ is the crucified Lord and that He rose from the dead. For some reason I could never get rid nor forget the 5 second moment as I ponder over it for the last 25 years. To this day it still guides me as the Lord reminded me time and time again of the 5 second moment.
This is my first humble attempt to put “something of my life” on paper. I asked the Lord what we should write about, not surprisingly, the reply was “the 5 second moment”.
Many moons ago I lived for 6 days in a cave in the south-west of Iran with two Bakhtiari families. This tribe is a very ancient Persian tribe and they live with their sheep in caves as they are a nomadic people. Coming down the massive mountain range after 6 days we left the area in a small vehicle, the driver and I.
As we approached the nearest small town we came around a slow corner bending to the left. On my right side on the side of the gravel road I saw a bakhtiari shepherd with a sheep behind him walking towards the town. The only attachment between the shepherd’s hand and the sheep was a very thin rope around the sheep’s neck. Two “elements” of the moment struck to the core of my being.
The fist was that the rope was hanging lose and was swinging from left to right. The second was that the sheep was only looking at the shepherd and following him with an eagerness and willingness not looking left or right. I know that the shepherd was going to sell the sheep in the town, to be slaughtered for meat so he could buy his families monthly supply’s before going up in the mountain again to live and flock his sheep.
What struck me was the fact that the sheep trusted the shepherd hundred percent and all his focus was on the man in front of him and to follow him relentlessly. Obviously he knew the shepherd and knew where ever he was being lead to, he will follow and that’s all that “matter” to him.
Understand that this specific sheep did not have the “comfort” of being to feel save, as he was alone and no other sheep was with him. What was also profoundly significant was the fact that the shepherd knew this specific sheep as one of his children (I will talk about this in a later Shofar edition) and knew that the sheep will follow him obediently.
The only physical connection between the sheep and the shepherd was the thin rope that was hanging lose between the two of them. It was as if the shepherd and his sheep were walking in complete confidence and sequence as if it was meant to be in perfect harmony.
Take note the relationship between the shepherd and the sheep is not based on the fact that the sheep is clever or smart. It’s purely base on the fact that each one of them understood their “place” and the sheep knew his shepherd and brutally trust him in all situations and conditions. The shepherd is the one that knows what’s best for the sheep, the sheep was not leading the shepherd.
John 10: 14: “I am the Good Shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me.”
The relevant scripture was playing out in front of my very eyes in that significant “5 second” moment of my life.
Understand that if Jesus say “I know My own”, He is saying that without any doubt those who belong to Me.
When Jesus is saying “My own know Me”, He is saying those that have a deep personal relationship with Me.
I am of the opinion today to know someone and have complete trust in a person is not an “easy thing” to say nor to do.
If we truly know and come to the understanding who the Lord Jesus Christ is and above all who He wants to be for each one of us, we will truly follow Him blindly, not looking left or right in all situations and what He calls us to do.
The relevant verse is not based on a zero to 100 present type of relationship you can measure, what Jesus said is a very profound statement and is based on the only type of relationship He has with us.
Please take note: The sheep follow the shepherd even though he did not know nor understood that following his shepherd was leading him to his dead.
In the end it is not about the sheep but it’s all about the GOOD SHEPERD the LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Shalom and grace
Article featured in our January edition of team Talk.