• alyssa conlee

trust him: because he is my shepherd

Sheep are dumb. They are easily distracted and wander around aimlessly when there’s no one to guide them. When there is someone tending to them they don’t listen, even when it’s for their benefit. They needlessly put themselves in danger.

And the Lord calls us His sheep.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3 

He has reminded me repeatedly that He will lead me where I should go. Even when I don’t realize I should go there. Even when I’m dumb and wandering—He leads. He calls. He brings me back. I can trust Him to care for me because He is my Shepherd.

This is the third post in a series. To read the first two parts of my life update, read here and here.

He Leads Me Beside Still Waters

At the time this post will be published, I’ll be headed to LAX international airport. God has been super clear to me that I am diving headfirst into a season of rest. From what I understand at my current distance, Italy is the place to learn to slow down. Rest is ingrained in the culture, or so I’ve heard.

Americans typically struggle with the concept of rest. Busy is the norm. Even Christ-following believers seldom slow down enough to sit at the feet of Jesus. In this culture, if you’re not climbing ladders, breaking barriers, utilizing every waking moment— what are you even doing? We run until we die. Like a messy, bumbling herd of sheep, we must be lead to waters of rest. We don’t tend to stumble upon them ourselves.

The Shepherd, however, leads us beside still waters: waters of rest, in Hebrew. It reminds me of Jesus’ interaction with Mary and Martha in Luke 10.

Martha is busy doing this and that in order to serve Jesus, while her sister Mary is simply sitting at His feet. In fact, the ESV version tells us that Martha was distracted with much serving (vs 40).

I have always related to Martha. Prone to busy myself with service, but ultimately distracting myself from what truly matters—sitting at His feet. This, I feel, puts the concept of rest into perspective.

Rest is not laziness. Rest is communion with Christ and His people. This is the still water.

I don’t know about you, but I long for true fellowship. With people, and with my Maker. I want to enjoy every moment, and actually live life. I believe that this is the life that the Lord designed for us… but we become consumed by all of the doing and fail to actually enjoy the life that He has set before us. Maybe He restores us from the haphazard doing and to meaningful relationship.

Our Shepherd cares for us by bringing us closer to Himself.

This is what I’m hoping for my time in Italy: I want to learn to rest in Him. How to follow my Shepherd wherever He leads, without hesitation. How to live. (I’ll let you know how it goes in reality!)

He'll Get Me Where I'm Going

Exciting news:

I got into grad school!

This fall, I’ll be participating in Azusa Pacific University’s MSW (Master of Social Work) program.

I struggled to trust Him with this one. Yet, of course, my loving Shepherd led me exactly where I needed to be. His timing is way better than mine, as always. (Sometimes I wonder why I never learn. But then I remember that I’m a dumb sheep.)

Had I gotten in last year as I planned, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to live in Italy this year. Because I’ll be attending this year as He seems to have planned, I can go sit at His feet for a while as He prepares my heart for what’s ahead.

Work in Progress

Learning to trust Him is an ongoing process, and I am nowhere near perfecting this lesson. I am so grateful that the Lord has come alongside me in my weakness to reveal His strength. He has proven His trustworthiness time and again, yet when I doubt He does not get frustrated with me. Instead, He lovingly and patiently reminds me of what I should already know, and nudges me in the right direction.

Life is difficult to navigate. Seasons change, the right way is often unclear, and we are not always confident in what the next step is. Yet God takes the time to bend down, call us by name, and walk beside us as He reveals the way He’s intended. He does all the real work. All we need to do is trust Him.

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© 2019 by Alyssa Conlee