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Insights & Encouragement

Pastor Reflections - Reed

All I Have To Do Is Follow


“Just follow these cows”, my dad said as he nudged his horse into a quick trot.  “I’ll meet up later down the trail”.


I knew it was futile to ask any clarifying questions as he quickly disappeared around the bend.  So I asked my horse: “Now what?  How long am I supposed to ‘Just follow these cows’?  What if the cows go the wrong way?  What if we come to another trail?” 


My horse seemed unperturbed and gave no answer to my questions. But to a young ranch kid, still wet behind the ears, these limited instructions caused anxiety.  However, my horse just continued his steady pace, quietly moving the cows along the willow-lined creek bank.  So I went along for the ride.


My siblings and I have often chuckled as we pondered what we all experienced as a common occurrence – our dad’s limited and obscure instructions.  Here is what we came to know: we did not know where we were going, or how to get there, or how long it might take -- but our father did.  He knew we would be in the right place at the right time if we would just follow those cows.


Consider the wilderness wanderings of God’s people.  Given limited instructions and obscure commands, they were to go out in faith.  They were to do what God commanded.  They were to just follow. 


And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. Exodus 13:21


I learned a children’s chorus in Sunday school that speaks of this. 


My Lord knows the way through the Wilderness. All I have to do is follow.

My Lord knows the way through the Wilderness. All I have to do is follow.

Strength for today is mine always, and all I need for tomorrow.

My Lord knows the way through the Wilderness. All I have to do is follow.


Oh, if we could learn to simply follow – trusting that Our Father fully knows the way and will indeed meet up with us down the trail.  My earthly dad, who as a knowledgeable cow man knew the habits of cattle and the patterns of the trail, gave me just the right instruction.  How much more can I trust the instruction of the all-knowing Heavenly Father to lead and guide me! 


And let’s not forget the promise of His presence: 

to Joshua:


“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9


to the disciples:


“…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20


Oh Lord, grant that we might learn to follow You in simple trust in these uncertain times.