By Holly Culhane
Facilitating, speaking, Q and A, building relationship, packing, unpacking, setting up, tearing down, meeting new people (or a lot of new people), different beds, altered time zones, disrupted sleep patterns … and anything else you can think of related to delivering a message face-to-face via conferences, workshops, or keynote speeches – all can wear on a person. Add to that a different culture, one or more foreign languages, interpreters, rules of the road unlike (or nothing like) what you’re used to, a different currency, and international flights … and you have a recipe for mental and physical fatigue.
Even when one is living deeply into the calling the Father has placed on his or her life .. and loving it … a person’s human limitations can surface.
I found myself at that point after a recent trip to the Middle East. We had facilitated a four-day gathering on shepherding and, thanks to the Father’s blessing, a number of participants had volunteered to multiply the shepherding message – most certainly our hope. The people were delightful and Spirit-filled, and our hosts had been most accommodating.
But sleep had eluded me for much of the trip. The Almighty had sustained us, but I knew my tank was running low.
We landed back in the U.S. in the early morning hours. Due to a late afternoon connecting flight and a bit of a drive, we faced another 18 hours before the trip was over. I worked hard – calling on The Good Shepherd for help – to be awake, alert, and upbeat.
Then it began –
- A text from a new friend who lives near the airport, assuring us she would be happy to pick us up and bless us with a hot breakfast, a shower, a comfy bed, and time to rest. Exactly what I needed.
- An unexpected text from a shepherding partner with an encouraging word after listening to a recent vlog post. “You and Doug are right in your wheelhouse.” Exactly what I needed.
- An out-of-the-blue email from a friend, full of encouragement. Exactly what I needed.
- An email from our Bangladesh partner providing photos of their team distributing food to the needy in mosques and temples, with one man wearing a Presence Point “Live into Your Calling” tee shirt. Exactly what I needed.
- A text from a woman who just wanted to let me know she was praying for us as we traveled. Exactly what I needed.
…your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him.
Yes, The Good Shepherd knows exactly what we need … and just when we need it!
Dear shepherd leader, can you recall a time in your life when the Father provided exactly what you needed? Share in the comments below.