Well, it’s been a tough year (thanks Captain Obvious!), and it’s still not over. With so many setbacks, cancelations, missed targets, and devastating losses, it can be tempting to simply want to write 2020 off and coast into 2021 hoping for better weather. What’s your mindset during this difficult season?
As the son of a preacher, I grew up listening to my dad’s sermons and I can recite many of them by heart. One message that has stuck with me came from the book of Amos, which is about a shepherd turned prophet who was called by God to fail. That’s right. God wanted Amos to preach a message of repentance to the Northern tribes of Israel, but he warned Amos in advance that almost nobody was going to listen. The imagery in the book is dramatic – “As a shepherd rescues from the lion’s mouth only two leg bones or a piece of an ear, so will the Israelites living in Samaria be rescued.” Wow, that sounds bleak!
So, the question if you’re a shepherd is why on earth would you risk your life wrestling a lion when there’s no chance you’re going to save that sheep? My father would preach that a good shepherd would still wrestle with the lion even when all hope seems lost, just so he would have something to show to the guy who hired him proving he’d done everything humanly possible to fulfill his responsibility.
I think this is a powerful principle of leadership for those walking in a valley. The world demands success and despises failure, but God wants faithfulness. “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NLT)