“Ain’t They Got No Shep’erd”?

By Holly Culhane

On a regular basis we receive stories, pictures, and posts of shepherds and/or sheep from friends all over the planet. The most recent came from a dear colleague. It was an exhortation sent by his pastor, Jim Brawner, of Bonita Valley Community Church, focusing on 2 Timothy 1:7.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

May Dr. E. V. Hill’s encouragement, shared through Pastor Jim’s encouragement, remind you of the power of our Good, Chief, and Great Shepherd…

Sometimes fear is a legitimate God-given emotion, so that we’ll escape the house on fire, or use a flashlight at night, or try to lower our cholesterol. I don’t think that’s what Paul was talking about in 2 Timothy 1:7.

The times we live in promote fear. Sometimes this fear has been deliberately “mongered” by cynical people who have an agenda that will be advanced if people are afraid. The kind of fear that robs you of joy, isolates you from loved ones, and dominates your thoughts every day is, Paul says, not from God.

Instead, the Lord has given us power, love, and a sound mind. It reminds me of a Christian TV show I saw years ago, featuring a favorite preacher of mine, Dr. E. V. Hill. Dr. Hill pastored in South Central Los Angeles for many years. He was a tremendous preacher, and a friend of the poor and the powerful, until he went to be with the Lord in 2003.

I’m remembering a TV talk show where Dr. Hill was the guest. The hosts were a married couple who were well-known in Christian television. The topic was spiritual warfare.

Dr. Hill listened as the couple recounted scary examples of demonic oppression. They cited strategies for combating the attacks of Satan and finally asked Dr. Hill his opinion. E. V. Hill was an educated man, but in his preaching, he often used dialect to emphasize a point. “These teachers,” he said slowly, “the ones who are worried about the demons…” Then he fairly shouted it: “Ain’t they got no SHEP’ERD? It’s the Shep’erd who will handle these demons!” he thundered.

We can’t watch out for everything. Being afraid of every possible thing that could go wrong is no way to live. Maybe we ought to live our lives with joy, and let our Shepherd handle the stuff we have no control over anyway.

Dear fellow shepherd, may you – with joy – let our “Good Shep’erd” handle all you seem to fear.

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