Psalm 23 is a familiar Psalm to many people. Even the non-church goer recognizes the words as it is spoken at many funerals. While it surely comforts those who have lost a loved one, it seems that we forget that it focuses on what Jesus does for us “all the days of our life” also.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
In reading and researching about sheep, I found out that sheep require care more than any other class of livestock! They are not the most intelligent animal, either. They have to have constant attention and will actually follow each other even when they are just going around in circles! (It makes me think of the TSA lines in the airport where we just keep wandering between the roped off areas, awkwardly smiling at the people we keep passing.)
“The Lord is my Shepherd” God chooses us, He buys us, calls us by our name and makes us His own. How comforting is that? We are His prized possession and He watches over us and tenderly cares for us….. sound familiar?
Eastern Shepherds had to keep a constant vigil over his flock. They were always in danger of animals attacking them and they were prone to get lost. Sheep weren’t driven like cattle … they had to be led by the shepherd.
As special needs moms, we are also Shepherd–moms. Psalm 23 is a .. no, the message for you and me! The Shepherd–mom is always alert to her little lamb. She examines them to be sure they are comfortable or need special attention in the night. She sleeps (if she sleeps) with one eye and one ear open, always on guard. Our sheep are helpless and would not be able to survive long without us because they are totally dependent on us. And as Christians, we are totally dependent on Christ to protect and care for us.
Sometimes our little lambs are restless. It seems they can’t get comfortable and only their Shepherd-mom can calm them down so they can relax and be content. Again, sound familiar? How many times have you been anxious and called out to Jesus to rescue you? And in those times you feel a rush of peace that you cannot explain, except to say that He was there with you. He had His loving arms around you and whispered your name.
I felt Him so many times … usually in the dark hours. My little lamb would be struggling for air, or in a fitful seizure and there was absolutely nothing in the world I could do to help him but call out His name! Just by repeating the name, Jesus…..Jesus…..Jesus, over and over and then feeling His presence wash over me like a sweet perfume. Only Jesus can quiet our spirit. Only He can ‘lead us beside still waters.’
Shepherd-moms must always be on call.
Our Good Shepherd is always on call.
He loves us and will carry us and lead us to fountains of living water which can only be found through Him. If we follow Jesus, like a good shepherd He will lead us to good pasture – He will feed us and comfort us. Like a good shepherd He will search for us when we are lost.
John 10:11, “I am the Good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep.”
Isaiah 40:11, “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”
Do you know the Good Shepherd? Would you like to know Him personally and be a part of His flock? Leave me a comment and let me know how I can pray for you.