“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” We’ve memorized it. We’ve quoted it. But do we believe it? We would never actually say, “I’ve decided not to trust the Good Shepherd anymore,” but sometimes our lack of faith says exactly that.
Suppose two flocks of sheep, one sick and one healthy, met at the end of the winter to compare their experiences. If they could speak, would the healthy ones brag, “See what excellent care we’ve taken of ourselves? We’re really the smart ones around here.” No way! Their boasts could only be about their loving shepherd’s care. The sick sheep, on the other hand, would have every right to speak ill of their shepherd and the way that he neglected them. Since the shepherd is in charge of the condition of the sheep, all they have to do is follow him. Isn’t that true for us as well?
Peace of mind comes from depending on our Good Shepherd, the One who is always with us, on the hard days and the easy days, through the small decisions and the big ones. The reputation of any shepherd rests on the condition of his flock. The world watches to see what kind of sheep our Lord has. If we are constantly anxious about what life holds, why would anyone want to have our Shepherd as their own? Let’s show the world that we have a Shepherd worth trusting!
Our part as sheep is very simple: to follow with confidence, committing ourselves to the Shepherd. When uncertain about what our choices should be, we are always free to ask him for direction. Why worry about anything? It never helps anyway. Praying about everything is a much better plan of action. Even if our Shepherd leads us into pastures that look rocky, we can rest assured that he knows best.
Have you read Psalm 23 lately? Did you learn anything new or apply it to your life in an unusual way? I welcome your comments on what that passage really means to you.