That day will forever be etched in my memory. One second it was hot like fire, and the next the skies broke loose, making way for heavy rain to burst out of clouds that could no longer carry it. Like a mighty army, the rain approached the earth. Determined. Incapable of being stopped.
It fell with purpose. Wiping out suffocating heat. Cooling bodies filled with sweat. Resuscitating discolored blades of grass that drooped sideways, almost dead from days of lack. Bringing winds of refreshing to our sheep.
That day, after we’d put the sheep back in their shelter, we ran straight for the back door of the house. With clothes dripping wet, we sat in front of the kitchen window watching hard drops of rain hit brown soil, wilted grass, and those thirsty plants littered around the sheep shelter.
That same day, my mother looked into my eyes and said, “Nina, see how the rain falls?”
“Yes, mother,” I answered, half-wondering where she was going with this.
“Nina, your heart should be like rain,” she muttered. “One hundred percent in. One direction. One goal.”
She always sees life in black and white, my mama. To her, you’re either a powerhouse or a quitter. A lifeline or sinker. A fish in water or fierce land creature. A Shepherd Girl or a Soldier Girl.
The “David and Goliath” historical account was almost like daily bread in our home. We slept with it, woke up with it, and meditated on it often.
David, the focused Shepherd boy and the youngest of eight sons. All his young days he was one hundred percent shepherd boy and not a soldier like his three oldest brothers. He had what seemed to be the least relevant job, yet he remained true to his calling. He knew that God had given him those sheep to take care of. So whenever a bear or lion came for the sheep, he saw them not as obstacles but as opportunities for victory.
He took them with his bare hands and killed them.
Unaware, he was using those shepherd boy days to practice for the day he would defeat Goliath the Philistine giant. A day when he would bring victory to the Israeli army. Shepherd boy was also practicing for the day he would become king.
So Shepherd Girl I am. One day I will be queen, but today my sheep need me. I need to practice trusting God. I am a queen-in-training. Just like this rain, I will be one hundred percent in. Determined. Incapable of being stopped. Focused.
When a bear or lion comes to eat my sheep, I will say, “The Lord has already delivered you into my hands.” I will not be afraid because I trust in God. I will run toward my target, not away from it. I will lift my hands up and tear the jaws of the bear and the lion. No, it’s not about how beautiful I am, how tall, or how strong; for the Lord did not look at David’s appearance but at his heart.
What’s the Shepherd Girl About?
One day, you will be a queen, dear Proverbs 31 woman.
But today, you may still be a Shepherd Girl. And God has given you some things to take special care of.
Whatever the Lord is training you for, let it be your opportunity to practice. Seize the moment. Seize these days. Don’t despise these days of little beginnings.
You can be a Shepherd Girl in so many areas.
Like me, it could be that your children are still little ones. You’re still learning how to be a Spirit-filled mummy. Your children are your ministry. God has given them to you to take care of. Hold them every morning. Lay your hands over their little heads and pray for them. Teach them the ways of the Lord so that when they are old they will not depart from it. Lean on God for understanding. No, don’t be like everybody else. Let the Word be your guide.
You may be a Shepherd Girl who’s just recently married. Your husband is a gift from God. He is your priest. You are now one with Him. Practice how to love him through the eyes of God. Be consistent. Pray for Him. Forgive often. Love hard. And when the enemy tries to lie to you about him, bring out the warrior in you and say to the devil, “I forbid you. You cannot have my husband.”
Shepherd Girl, what about your gifts? What are you skilled at? God gave you those too. Protect your gifts. Hone your craft. Practice, practice, practice until you’re perfect. Forbid any liar that tells you that you can’t do what God has called you to do. Like David “kept” his sheep, you should also “keep” your God-given gifts. Take good care of them like precious jewels.
And Shepherd Girl, guess what? A day of reckoning is coming. Some day you will be called to face your giant. You will be called to regurgitate all you’ve been faithfully practicing. It will not be a waste of your time. Some day, you will have to step up and take the lead. A day will come when everything will make sense. A day when you will need to show up and show out.
And when that day comes, I pray that like David you’ll say, “Your servant used to keep her father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. So, yes, I can do this too.”