The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides 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 love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:1-6 (NIV)
I am your Good Shepherd. You are one of my sheep. I will lead you. I will guide you. I will carry you. I will comfort you. I will give you courage and strength as you follow me. That is very good to hear. Will anything be required of me? That is a very good question. What do you think? I think I could choose to not let you lead and guide me. I could be stubborn. I could be hard hearted. I could be self-reliant, self-sufficient and self-centered. I could tell you that I don’t want you to be my Good Shepherd. I could fend for myself. I could go my own way. How smart would that be? How wise would you be if you refused to allow me to be your Good Shepherd? You said I was one of your sheep. Yes, I did. Well, sheep are not very smart. Sheep are not particularly wise. That’s an understatement. Yes, it is. I know that for sure. Why is that? I have wandered like a lost sheep. I have made dumb decisions. I have gone where I should not have gone. I have done what I should not have done. My poor decisions left me like a bruised and battered and broken lost sheep. That’s right.
When you wandered away from me what did I do? Did I leave you alone? Did I let you go your own way? Did I let you fend for yourself? No, you did not. You pursued me. You would not let me go. No, I would not. You were right there when I cried out to you. You met me in my need. You made me lie down in green pastures. You led me by still waters. You allowed me to taste of your kindness, mercy and love. You restored my soul. You healed my bruised and battered and broken life. Yes, I did. You gave me a new life to live. You are now leading me on new path. What path is that? You are leading me on your path righteousness. You are helping me to go where you lead me and do what you ask of me. You are helping me to live in an intimate relationship with you. Yes, I am. You are guiding me through all the seasons of life. You are with me to help me when I go through dark valleys. You give me courage and comfort when I am surrounded by evil. You will be with me every day until I come to live forever in heaven with you. Yes, I will. You are my Good Shepherd. Yes, I am. I am one of your sheep. Yes, you are. That is very good.
Lord, you are my Good Shepherd. You have led me through the seasons of life. You have met my needs. You restored my soul, carried me through valleys, given me courage and comfort and richly blessed my life as I have loved, followed and served you. Amen
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