read to feed the soul
Written by FBJ Women for Women
by: Camille Anding
He Is My Shepherd
“The Lord is my shepherd.” If He’s the Shepherd, I’m the sheep – not a lamb, but a sometimes stubborn, oftentimes ornery old sheep with a mind of my own and not enough discipline to avoid venturing off on trails of self-sufficiency. I need a shepherd!
“I shall not want.” Now that’s amazing – but I’ll have to admit that my “wanter” is constantly needing spiritual adjustments. More like a lamb than a sheep, I nibble at the world’s dainties and always find them empty and never completely satisfying. Then the Good Shepherd pulls me back into His path and reminds me that I shall never lack for anything that I need. The wanting and needing controversy is a daily battle unless I stay close to the Shepherd.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” The Shepherd chooses the strangest pastures. Sometimes He changes my lists of things to do by setting me aside with delays or sickness. That’s when He teaches me that life goes on without me as I am humbly reminded that my life and work are not priorities. The Shepherd is.
“He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” My Shepherd is a wonderful Guide – always pointing me to those paths that will make me a stronger sheep. Sometimes I’ve turned away – chosen safer, smoother, wider paths. And always, I’ve had to cry out to the Shepherd to rescue me. What a faithful Shepherd! He’s always come, but in my rebellion and disobedience, I’ve missed the opportunity to honor His great Name.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” I love that word: through. There’s a way in and a way out of the valley, and the Good Shepherd never leaves my side. I’m also comforted that it’s not a race or a jog but a steady walk. This sheep doesn’t do much running anymore. I’m grateful that my Shepherd walks with me and carries the big staff. All I have to do is stay close to Him, and nothing will touch me without His permission.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” Wolves are hiding behind every rock and bend of the path, but that doesn’t bother my Shepherd. We can fellowship and enjoy one another’s company, and all the enemy can do is watch. It’s important that I keep my eye on the Shepherd and enjoy Him instead of watching the enemy. There’s no predator that can come near with the Shepherd’s never-slumbering eyes seeing it, and their boundaries are always set by the Shepherd.
“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Even when the paths have seemed steep and hard, I’ve seen at the end of each one a blessing and a lesson of faith that I could never have learned in more pleasant conditions. The Good Shepherd has heaped blessings upon me and met all my needs.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” What a line-up, and I’m in the middle of it! The Lord is leading – the sheep follow Him, and Goodness and Mercy close our ranks. It’s a flock like no other – and we’re not just aimlessly wandering through life, waiting for the last heartbeat. We’re headed home! The Lord is my Shepherd, and I’m one blessed sheep!
Great Shepherd, help me be an obedient sheep, following You so closely that You are never out of my sight. Amen
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