The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me like down in green pastures, he leads me besides still waters. He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his namesake. (Psalm 23:1-3)
On the morning of my 63rd birthday, my husband Al and I took a walk around the area where our daughter and her family live in Cyprus. In the days before, we had become fascinated with the goat farm located just minutes from their house. There didn’t seem to be enough grass or water for any animal to survive or thrive.
Even though the living conditions were dusty, barren and stifling hot, their shepherd still cared for the flock. Note in the photo how the goats gathered in the shade, seeking relief from the piercing sun.
I couldn’t help but think of how our loving Father God wants us to thrive. He makes us lie down in green pastures because we need our physical rest. Note that his pastures are green.
He wants us to walk with him besides still waters, to be quiet in His presence and refresh ourselves spiritually and emotionally. During those times the reflections of our lives become clear.
Finally, God wants to refresh us so we can pursue paths of righteousness for His name’s sake–to live that purpose-driven life Saddleback Church’s Pastor Rick Warren described so well a few years back. Father God sent us a loving Shepherd to guide us through far-from-perfect trails.
Thank you, Jesus, for being our willing and sacrificial guide and shepherd sent from our loving Father.
“I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me–just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”
- John 10:14-16