A VISIT FROM THE GREAT SHEPHERD

 

In the quiet morning hours of Wednesday, August 26, the Great Shepherd visited our home and took his lamb, Sherri, to be with him.

He called her by name, and she knew his voice. Leaving behind her earthly tent which she had inhabited for 57 years and 3 days, she winged her flight to heaven and into the arms of the Good Shepherd.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me,” said Jesus in John 10:27.

Sherri had known that voice since she was a 9 year old girl. That’s when she followed Jesus and became one of his lambs. But the most important thing is that Jesus knew Sherri. She was His. She was His by creation. She was His by redemption.

Sherri had been walking in the valley of the shadow of death for the last 3 years and 9 months. Cancer is a valley. During her time in the valley, she discovered something: just how much the Good Shepherd loved her and provided for her. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” Jesus was ever near to Sherri, showing her his love in many unusual ways, even during the midst of her suffering. His two sheepdogs, “Goodness” and “Mercy,” followed her closely during these days.

Some people probably question the love of the Good Shepherd in allowing Sherri to contract cancer, and ultimately die from it. But those among His sheep who hear His voice know better. Sherri knew better. Oh, she had questions along the journey, . . . lots of questions; but never any doubt of the Good Shepherd’s love for his lamb. Why did she not doubt? Because she knew Jesus is the Good Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep. She knew that the Good Shepherd was also the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world . . . for her sins.

Somebody might say: “I am sorry you lost Sherri.” I know what they mean. But I also know that I have not lost Sherri. You haven’t lost someone when you know exactly where they are. I know where she is: in heaven with the Great Shepherd. He took her there. Like David, Sherri could say: “and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

And since I am not all knowing, and all wise, and all powerful, and all loving as is the Good Shepherd, I don’t question His will or His ways. In fact, I want to learn the lessons Sherri learned from the Good Shepherd: how to trust Him in life; how to trust Him in suffering; how to trust Him in death.

So what am I going to do now, you ask? Exactly what the author of Hebrews in his benediction in Hebrews 13:20-21 said:

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Do His will; work for Him as He works in me. . . . and await the day when the Great Shepherd visits my house once again . . . and calls my name.

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25 thoughts on “A VISIT FROM THE GREAT SHEPHERD

  1. I am praying for you, and your family. I always have and always will love each of you dearly. I know you could not be more proud of her life, her testimony and the awesome legacy she gifted this world with. Oh, that each of us could have a heart and soul half of hers! My current favorite worship song is by Bethel, It Is Well. This is my prayer for your family. In His Love, Lori

  2. Keeping you in prayer. So thankful for your and Sherri’s availability to the Lord. Her testimony was such an encouragement to us.
    In Christ
    Pam

  3. David:

    For as much as you wrote about your beloved Sherri, what I read between those lines about you is a testimony to the sufficiency of God’s grace. Sherri did not walk through that valley alone. Not only was the Good Shepherd with her in that place; so were you. Thank you for the intimation of your own journey as you described Sherri’s. I am deeply encouraged by her faith and yours.

    Your brother,

    Norm

  4. I know these words will bless many. I know they are true, I know He will comfort you as only He can. I’ve done much reading on grief and discovered most writers share this thought: “Grief is so personal we all do it differently.” And I would add: The Lord knows His own and comforts personally.”

  5. Thank you for sharing the Hope of our salvation through this difficult circumstance. God Bless you and your family Dr. Allen.

  6. Many people who never had the opportunity to meet Sherri will be touched by her faith. Many more who may never have the opportunity to know you other than through the internet will be touched by your faith and obedience to our Lord. Thank you for sharing this with us. My you be blessed through the sharing and our Lord glorified.

    Chris

  7. Dear Dr. Allen,
    Love and prayers for you and your family. May the God of comfort see you all through. “Behind God’s frowning Providence is God’s hidden smile.”

  8. Dr. Allen,

    Thank you for living your faith before me many years ago as I sat in your classes at Criswell College and now many years later your faith in our Great Shepherd continues to shine brightly for so many to see. Sherri taught our oldest son, Zach, in fourth grade and influenced him and, no doubt, many others in ways we won’t know until we too are where she is now. Through her time of sickness I had prayed many times for Father to heal her, and we know He has–just in a different way than we all had hoped. I had also prayed for you and your family and please know I will continue to pray that our Great Shepherd now brings peace and comfort in the days ahead. Thank you for being my mentor, my friend and my great example of what it truly means to walk by faith.

  9. Thank you for your testimony of peace Dr. Allen. I will share this post knowing that it will offer hope to someone who is struggling with such questions as you address here. My prayers are for your continued comfort as you press on in the gospel mission and wait for your call from the Shepherd.

  10. David, you have said it all so well. Sherri preached a sermon every day she lived that guided some one in her path. I am so thankful to have had the privilege of encouraging and praying for her over these last years. God truly blessed you when He gave you Sherri to be your help mate. Praying for all of you as you miss her and rebuild your lives without her.

  11. Thank you for your powerful testimony and faithfulness. May “the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10

  12. You and Sherri’s love for the Great Shepherd show in everything you both say and do. Greater words were never said that describes the journey we all follow in our lives! God healed Sherri when He took her home to the place Jesus went to prepare the place for her! Glory to God we will be United again! Prayers for you and your family! The Great Comforter will see you home! Love you!

  13. Dr. Allen

    Thank you for your words. I do not even begin to know how non Christians deal with losing someone they love. But knowing they are in heaven makes it easier to get through. We will miss Sheri but knowing she is with Jesus and where there is no more pain and no more tears . What day of rejoicing it will be when we all get to heaven. I am praying for you and your family.

  14. Dr. Allen, this is inspiring. That you wrote this, some days after the death of your dear wife is challenging. Thank God for the reality of our faith in Christ Jesus. What more can I say than “thank God for Sherri and thank God for you.” All is well with you in Jesus name.

  15. At about 4:50 in my guest room LaQuinta Inn & Suites 2000 Lakeside Drive/ Bonnockburn, IL 60015847-317-7300 room 248. There I read the testimony of the passing away of Sherri to eternal glory. I was deeply touched and I could no longer control my tears as I prayed to God to teach me how to trust the Great Shepherd in life, in suffering and even in death like Sherri did. As for Dr. Allen I can not but pray for you and your entire family for more grace, strength and comfort all your days of this earthly sojourn. The peace of the Great Shepherd continue to be with you.

  16. This is beautiful, Why can’t I think and say things like this? I will copy this and E Mail it to all my friends. In hopes that they too will enjoy the true meaning. Thanks for sending this to me….

  17. “The L-rd bless you, and watch over you; The L-rd make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; The L-rd lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

  18. All the more reason to be looking for that Blessed Hope. I can smell the fragrance of your family’s faith all the way into Ohio.

    Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

  19. Dr. Allen,

    I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. Your words are a powerful testimony of faith, hope, and love. Please know I will pray for your family. God bless my friend,

  20. Dr. Allen,
    I am so sorry to hear of your great loss. I cannot begin to imagine the pain of having a beloved spouse (and dearest friend) depart from this world. This was such a beautiful tribute to our Good Shepherd who has given us such an incredible hope, and to your beloved wife and her faithfulness even in the midst of great suffering. I thank God for the blessedness of knowing that He has prepared a place for us, and “In His presence is FULLNESS OF JOY and at His right hand there are pleasures for evermore”.

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