Feeling Sheepish?

We tend to have of sheep an idyllic picture of sheep.  Nice fluffy lambs living in green fields.  But the reality can be very different, as you will know if you’ve ever  passed a field of sheep in the driving rain, up to their ankles (do sheep have ankles?) in mud, or watched them clinging to the edge of a mountain side trying to find something tasty to eat.  Life as a sheep, may not be as good as we initially imagine, which is why they need a shepherd to care for them, keep them safe, make sure they are fed and brought to safe pasture when required.

(A psalm by David.)

The Good Shepherd

You, Lord, are my shepherd.
I will never be in need.
    You let me rest in fields
of green grass.
You lead me to streams
of peaceful water,
    and you refresh my life.

You are true to your name,
and you lead me
along the right paths.
I may walk through valleys
as dark as death,
but I won’t be afraid.
You are with me,
and your shepherd’s rod
makes me feel safe.

You treat me to a feast,
while my enemies watch.
You honour me as your guest,
and you fill my cup
until it overflows.
Your kindness and love
will always be with me
each day of my life,
and I will live forever
in your house, Lord.

This is probably one of the most well-known passages in the bible, and as such, we perhaps skim over it, thinking we know what it says. But what depths are found here.

This is a testimony to the God who never leaves us.  Life has its ups and downs, its mountain tops and its deep valley bottoms – God is with us in them all.  He’s not just with us for the good times, the easy times; he climbs with us on the rocky crags, along mountain tracks with steep drops on either side, over rough terrain, and as we skip along the grassy meadows.

He gives us rest when we need it, refreshment and peace, restoring us to the depths of our souls.

When we don’t know which way to turn, God goes ahead of us and shows us the path.  He has his shepherd’s staff with him to beat off the enemy and wild roaming beasts that threaten to grab us.

God treats us as an honoured guest at the banquet he is giving.  He is taking us to a place of plenty and abundance.

Yes, God is with us everyday of our life, in our varied experiences.  He won’t leave us, abandon us to our fate or lost on the hillside.  With him we have all we need – and always will do.

Thank you Lord

that you journey with me

always

and everywhere.

Thank you that I am not left alone,

teetering on a precipice,

but you are there;

I do not have to clamber over rough terrain by myself,

you are there to hold me and support me;

I do not have to find my own way to the right path,

you go with me and show me;

you provide the refreshment and place of peace that I need.

In all things Lord,

may I remember to hold on to you,

to follow the path you show me,

to seek the care you offer me,

and to receive your peace.

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