“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalms 23:1-6 ESV
“To say that God is our shepherd and we are sheep, is to humble ourselves, admitting what is true about us, and to elevate God, declaring what is true of him. When you say, “The Lord is my shepherd,” you are saying something that ought to move your heart in praise and gratitude. To declare that God is your shepherd is to praise and glorify him because God the shepherd stoops down to care for poor, lost, not-so-smart sheep like you and me.”
Tim Challies (blogger)
Is it ever humbling to recognize the fact that I really am prone to be just like a sheep. I am just as needy. Maybe even more… I need constant guidance, comfort, love, support, provision, the list goes on. I too grab the first thing that comes my way. I am way too easily satisfied. When I encounter a hurdle that seems way too big, I shrink back or I try and conquer it in my own strength. I like to think I am all wise but I soon find out, I am not. Guess where that leaves me? Stuck. Overwhelmed and paralyzed with fear… just like sheep. I constantly wander off, whether it was because I followed the pack or simply because I thought their would be greener grass on the other side.
“Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink, sex, ambition, when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” (C.S Lewis— The Weight of Glory)
Lord, bind my wandering heart to Thee!
“Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go. Don’t think for a moment that you know it all, for wisdom comes when you adore him with undivided devotion and avoid everything that’s wrong. Then you will find the healing refreshment your body and spirit long for.”
Proverbs 3:5-8 TPT
Alrighty, so what will bring the healing refreshment my body and spirit long for? Acknowledging over and over again until I know it deep down in my heart and when I forget it, once again reminding myself that I am a sheep. But at the same time knowing deep down, in the core of my being that though I am a sheep, I am not a lost sheep, wandering and helpless. Oh no… I am a sheep who is cared for by a shepherd. A good shepherd.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
John 10:11-15 ESV
I am victorious as long as I stay right by my shepherd’s side. It’s actually my only hope for survival. I can do nothing without Him (John 15:5). My shepherd is constantly going before me, preparing me and strengthening me for what is coming my way. He promises to stick right by my side through it all. He will never leave me nor abandon me. He’s guiding me with His staff. He’s leading me beside still waters, to greener pastures. (He knows where those greener pastures are). When I am tested, when fear assails me, He is my hiding place, my refuge… the place I find safety. He’s constantly providing for me. My shepherd knows what’s best. My shepherd goes to all measures to care for me. In His courts is where I belong. I have a home. I am content. I have need of nothing. All that I need for right now is here for me. My cup overflows. This heart knowledge and this kind of abiding in Him is what is going to bring strength to my bones, and health to my body. To yours too!
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
John 10:27 ESV