My last post, When You Wonder if the Lord Really Shepherds You, was almost a month ago. I had dug up the past…an old post from a couple of years ago in which I shared an entry from my journal and a question:
“Does The Shepherd really care for me??”
I had not intended for it to be the last for a month but so much has happened in life since then. I had not intended for it to be pondered by myself as much as it was, but it really lead me throughout the week that I re-posted it and the truths in it continued to lead me this past month of great uncertainty and challenge. As I was contemplating that post, I thanked God for healing me in that time period of life in the past and asked for Him to bring me through new situations where I would be needing to trust in His shepherding. I asked a new question….How do I make sure I don’t lose the assurance I have of His presence and care? How do I not end up like others I’ve seen who have lost hope?
As I said these words, my eyes landed on a framed Psalm 23 which sits on my desk. As I read it, I was reminded of the fact that the answer has so little to do with me. It has more to do with Him and who He is and what He does. All I really need to do is be mindful, follow and keep turning my heart, mind and spirit toward Him…my Shepherd.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,[c]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
I remember going on a hike by myself years ago in the Rocky Mountains at Estes Park, Colorado.
It was when I first started traveling by myself for work. After a business trip to Denver, I stayed over a few days in the Rocky Mountains. I was just beginning to feel less scared and more adventurous in life. Though hesitant about hiking alone, I went shopping the night before my hike and picked out a bear bell in order to warn bears I would be coming along the path.
I felt so free and brave—hiking alone with all that I needed on me. A backpack, my camera, water, snacks and the bear bell.
Do you know that feeling? A feeling of simple sufficiency…that all that is needed is on you. No need to worry about the extras in life. Although much of my bravery was placed in what I had taken along with me (namely the bear bell) and my own self-sufficiency, I can’t help but use it as an illustration for these thoughts I’m having on Psalm 23.
That feeling of adventurous bravery and freedom is what I experienced when, in the midst of fear, my eyes landed on Psalm 23.
The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want…
On this life journey, what if all that I need really is what I already carry around with me? Am I really free to dare to pursue adventures with Christ…dangers and all?
Because my true home is not here and I’m heading for eternity. The path may have dangers, snares, bears and ledges. And if I don’t escape them?
If I am not rescued FROM those snares, Jesus will rescue me through them. A line I’ve heard a few times over the last decade from someone who has shepherded me through my fears about the future.
Jesus will either rescue me from the snares of life in this life or He will rescue me though them bringing me finally to Himself where no more harm can touch me.
Yes…truly…all I need is Him, the Good Shepherd.
I’m contemplating the Good Shepherd this month…will you join me for part two next week?
Linking up this week with the following inspiring and encouraging blogs. I highly recommend visiting any and all of them!