God holds the cards for us. He knows what’s coming. We just play along, so last December, he shuffled the deck for us Landry’s and some of the other folks out here on the ‘north side’.
Long story short, we moved ‘next door’. And other folks did the same. When the dust settled, none of us had really gone very far, but everything had changed in a way. And change, major or minor, can make you feel like the ground in front of you is not as solid as you thought.
Everything we owned was loaded up into stock trailers and rattled down the road a ways. In that short trip, all of our furniture was covered in a thick layer of fine dust. And it still kind of is, to tell the truth. I do clean, but the dust has to go somewhere! It might as well lay on the dresser so we can write messages to each other.
We have waited for snow, and haven’t seen any as of now. Guess that’s just not in the cards for this month. God sure does shuffle good. I was counting on winter weather!
Life isn’t predictable like we think it is when we are entrenched in a routine. As I come to know who God is, however, I’m finding that he is always the same. 2018 will likely hold some more surprises for us! At first, I got a little worried about that. But here’s a well-loved passage of the Bible that I find instructive. It begins with these words:
“The Lord is my Shepherd. I lack nothing.”
So the One who holds the cards isn’t some slick gambler as indifferent as Fate or as impulsive as Chance. He’s a wise and gentle Shepherd. Another passage tips the scales for me:
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me…and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
It certainly takes a deep commitment to care for livestock. I know. You can’t ever really be ‘off’ work, what if they need you? One cold night changes everything: calves were born that might need thawing out or ice needs busting or pipes need fixing. Cowboys (like shepherds) take their responsibility personally. Their ‘job’ is their life, and that relationship they have with the stock they care for is very unique. Cattle aren’t cuddly, but a cowboy will perform superhuman feats to get water to them. He’ll give up his chair by the fire, or his night’s sleep; he’ll freeze in the winter and melt in the summer and put his own health on the line. “Whatever it takes,” I’ve heard these men say. I suppose he does love the cattle, in a way. And maybe they love him (or just the cake truck…but he is the driver!) in a way, too.
But the Good Shepherd is different. He lays down his life for the sheep. Let’s all try to remember who He is the next time He shuffles the deck.
Scripture references are from the NIV, Psalm 23:1 and John 10:14 and 15