Spring is a busy time. It seems that no matter what season of life people are in, the spring season of the year is consistently bustling for everyone. It is the figurative race to the finish line. Only when we get to the finish line, the busyness usually starts all over again. For those who are seeing their friends’ posts from spring break trips and feeling envious of the days off, you are not alone. If you were fortunate enough to get a spring break and are returning to your normal routine feeling less rested than before your days off, you are perfectly normal.
When I first married Taylor, spring always meant it was time for shearing. It was a season of long days working through exhaustion, but lots of fellowship as we would break bread daily with the shearing crews, extra hands and family who came to help out. As someone who was minimally helpful when it came the actual labor, I can also say it was a lot of fun. In our area of eastern New Mexico, it was common for ranches to run large herds of sheep. Shearing would begin with a roundup to bring the herd into the shearing barn. If you have ever worked or been around sheep, you will quickly understand why the Bible compares humans to them so often. We would be lost without our shepherd. It makes me laugh to think of God watching us make mistake after mistake, needing to widen his circle to bring us back to safety, and at the end of the day still wanting us as part of his herd.
As other ranches in the area began to get out of the sheep business, we also started downsizing our herd until we eventually had our last shearing a few years ago. When neighbors had the same vested interest, there was support to fight against our common enemy, the coyote. With ranches changing hands or passing to the next generation, the sheep population began to dwindle and predator control became a solo job rather than a community effort. The rancher had an identifiable enemy, but many were left lacking the backup to fight it.
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”1 John 4:4
In any battle, it is important to not only train and prepare yourself, but to also know your enemy. the Bible clearly identifies our enemy and tells us that Satan is a wolf trying to attack God’s flock. He is the adversary that comes to steal, kill and destroy. Satan is the enemy that brings out our anxiety, jealousy, self-doubt, and every other ugly thought or emotion human beings are capable of. After acknowledging the power of our enemy and understanding his tactics, we can now focus on our game plan.
1 Peter 5:7 invites the Christian to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” God personally invites all of us who are weary to call on Him because he cares about us as well as the things that are troubling us. We can be confident in this call to cast our anxiety on the Lord because we know that he is greater than the enemy. If you are looking at your week ahead and finding yourself facing stress and exhaustion, take refuge in the Lord. You may not be able to relax on the beach this week, but you can still rest assured by giving your anxieties to God and relaxing in His presence.
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