"He Is The Good Shepherd"
Shepherding isn’t one of those common jobs we see anymore. So when we flip through the Psalms, land on the 23rd chapter and see “the Lord is my shepherd," it’s tempting to just gloss over without taking a longer pause. At least that’s what I did until I got married and moved to a small farming community in Southern Michigan.
My husband got a call one day while his boss was out of town. He was told their flock of sheep had gotten out of the pen and was wandering in the snow in search of food. Sheep, faces down, going from one cluster of grass to the next, following the flock. Left alone, they would wander in the streets, into oncoming traffic, completely oblivious to the danger. Ethan grabbed a four-wheeler, loaded the back with feed, and drove out to where the sheep had wandered. He drove around them a few times, and once the sheep in the front saw the food, they began to follow. When a few began to trail behind the feed, the rest followed as well. No wrangling or chasing, just a single-file line, walking back to their fenced in pen... walking towards their dinner.
In Bible times, a shepherd was the sheep’s lifeline. The shepherd led them to pasture, protected them from wild predators, and found the safest creeks for them to drink from. God chose His illustrations wisely and purposefully. Sheep are stubborn, weak, easily hurt, and easily broken. They blindly follow, even into danger, face buried deep into the ground. They wander, focusing on the things directly in front of their eyes.
If I had to pick an animal to be compared to, a sheep would not be my first choice.
But here we are, thick in the analogy.
We are prey. Weak.
We are the fragile, lost sheep, and He is our Shepherd.
He will lead us if we will lift our eyes and follow.
He takes us from the open places where the snow blinds and the wind whips hard.
He takes us down to the flat pastures to rest and be satisfied. Covered.
When the time for the rough trails and steep mountain climbs comes, He leads us in love with His familiar voice and staff.
When we wander, He comes to us.
He searches us out.
He picks us up and brings us back into His protection.
He is God, the Good Shepherd.
“Good” because He is perfect and without flaw, and “good” because He is excellent at His job.
“Lord, change my perspective on your staff and guidance. Take away my pride and teach me to walk in your paths. Give me a hunger for your guidance and leadership. I want to walk in your ways, not my own. You are my shepherd. You are good.”
You are perfect in all of your ways,
ARH Staff Writer