By: Jean Boonstra
Taliah’s father is a shepherd, and tonight he will witness a marvelous sight!
Taliah snuggled Brownie the goat in close. Her father Matthias, a shepherd, had just brought him home for her to take care of.
“Father, look! I cleaned up Brownie’s cut,” Taliah said happily. “It will heal just fine now.”
“Thank you, Taliah,” her father replied. “Take good care of him for me tonight. I’ll return for Brownie tomorrow.”
“Oh father,” Taliah answered, her voice sounding sad. “I wish that you didn’t have to sleep near the sheepfold again tonight. I miss you being home.”
Taliah’s father put his arm around his daughter’s shoulder. “I miss you too, but there are so many new people in Bethlehem for the census. I need to be close to my flocks and herds to keep them safe.”
Taliah squeezed Brownie in closer. “Father,” she said her large eyes looking sad. “Couldn’t someone else stay with the sheep?”
“Taliah, I am their shepherd. My sheep hear my voice,” her father answered, patting Brownie lovingly on the head as he spoke. “Let’s pray together before I leave.”
Taliah folded her hands as she snuggled the little goat and her parents joined hands for prayer next to her. Her father began to pray in his deep, sensible voice.
“Dear God our Father, please care for my dear ones as I am out in the pastures again today and tonight. Lord, watch over them, and please watch over our sheep and goats, too,” Taliah’s father prayed.
“Father,” Taliah whispered, her eyes squeezed closed in prayer, “don’t forget to pray for you, too.”
“Oh, dear Father, please protect me and my fellow shepherds too,” her father added.
“Father,” Taliah whispered again, “pray for Messiah to come, too!”
Taliah’s father prayed again, his voice full of happiness. “And, dear God as my noisy little lamb Taliah has reminded me, I pray as I do each morning and evening that Messiah will come soon. Dear God, you have promised that out of Bethlehem, our home, will come the Messiah and He will be a ruler in Israel. Oh, God we pray that you will send Messiah to rescue us from the Romans.”
Taliah’s father paused and in a whisper added, “Anything to add to our prayer, little lamb?”
Taliah prayed with all of her heart these words. “Dear Heavenly Father, we’ve been waiting for Messiah. We believe He will come. Will you send our Savior—even now?”
Taliah hugged her father goodbye as he left for the pasture. Did God hear her prayer?
Listen to the rest of this story in the episode called Taliah’s Prayer this holiday season.