Often-times, sheep were kept in a round enclosure called a sheep pen built with walls made of stacked rocks. The pen would have a small opening for the entrance that the sheep would go in and out of when called by the shepherd. The shepherd would lie in front of this entering space and sleep at night to protect the sheep. Sheep are known for their poor eyesight, so they wouldn’t be able to clearly see the narrow opening that leads them out of the pen. When the shepherd called them out by name, they recognized and they followed the sound of his voice, drawing them out of the narrow enclosure to him.
This is such a powerful picture for us today. We usually don’t know exactly where God is leading us or can’t see the full picture. However, as we walk by faith, not by sight, seeking God through prayer and His Word, we find His voice calling us by name, leading us through the narrow opening straight to Him and His will for our lives.