Donald McCullough recalls being in the city of Edinburgh a few weeks before beginning his doctoral studies. He was new to the city so didn’t know his way around very well.
One evening he went to a concert at Usher Hall. After it finished he headed out into the night, but it was now dark and rainy. He didn’t have an umbrella. He thought he knew the way home but quickly realized he didn’t.
He called out to a stranger for directions. The man gave them to him. But seeing his confused face, he sighed and said: “Och, I’ll show you. Follow me.”
McCullough describes what happened next like this: “In the moments that followed I had perhaps the purest form of faith I have ever experienced: I entrusted myself totally to this man’s guidance. I dedicated not a fleeting second of thought to my watery appearance, my fearful panting, my confused speech—or my trust in this stranger… my attention was devoted exclusively to my savior, to what he was saying and where he was going.”*
I tell this story because, by ourselves, we too are lost! We think we know the way, but don’t. We are daft sheep in the rain.
The smartest thing we can do is to live by faith, following the voice not of a stranger, but of our Good Shepherd who guides us forward.
In John 10:27 Jesus said: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
How do we learn to recognize his voice? We read his words. We study them. We ask questions about statements we don’t understand. We make choices based on his words. We worship. We listen to biblical teaching and preaching. We pray.
Are there days when you feel like you’re lost (even when you’re in your hometown)? Are there days when you feel like you’re drenched (even when it’s sunny)? Perhaps we’re listening more to ourselves than we are to Jesus.
Some days feel dark and rainy. Listen to the trustworthy voice of Jesus, and follow.
–The Up Devotional is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on May 15, 2023.
–* Donald W. McCullough, The Trivialization of God: The Dangerous Illusion of a Manageable Deity (Colorado Springs: Navpress, 1995), 72.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.