How much more? – The Trusty Shepherds crook
I often ask God the same question when it feels as though I’m walking through a season of deep valleys rather than mountain top experiences. I wonder how long before I reach the other side and if he’s really walking along beside me?
But, as always, he is there with his trusty shepherds crook, guiding me along the narrow path. And when I ask him yet again, “How much more valley until I see the mountain top. How much more, God?” He always answers, “This much.”
I was chatting to a lady I know today who’s having a tough time too, and she said something so simple yet so profound. She said, “I have great faith that God has his hand over me.” Wow. It seems as though she’d asked God the same question as me. “How much more, God?”
Psalm 23:4 says, “You are with me, and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe.”
When you’re in a difficult season. When the howling winds and driving rain seem relentless in that dark, damp valley. Look for the trusty shepherds crook. The simple wooden staff lets you know that God has got his hand over you and it reminds you that you are safe.
While we’re asking, “How much more, God?” He holds his trusty shepherds crook tightly in one hand and scoops us up in his other hand and whispers to us, “This much.”
The answer he’s given feels like he’s looked along the narrow path and seen the end of the valley where the sun is shining, the grass is greener and everything is great again. As the Scriptures say, he is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. (Revelation 22:13) Of course he knows where the valley ends and the mountain side begins.
But, the more I know God the more I have come to learn that his answer is far more about how much he loves us rather than telling us that we have “this much” of the valley left to go.
As you have walked or stumbled along the path, you’ve focused on his trusty shepherds crook. Not realising that this is exactly the great faith my friend was talking about.
While we’re busy asking all our questions, “How much more do I have to endure? How much more trail until it finishes, Lord? How much more do I have to learn, God?” His forever patient answer is always, “This much.”
When we read, (I mean really read) Psalm 23, we understand his answer.
We ask him, “How much more, God?” But what we’re really asking him is, “How much more do you love me, God?”
And so he gently carries us through the deep valleys when we cannot walk another step. Comforted by the sound of his trusty shepherds crook clicking on the hard soil beneath his sandals. He stops and looks at a hill where a wooden cross stands.
Stretching out his arms he repeats our question.
“How much more, child?” Then he smiles at us and says, “This much.”