The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
With these three verses, we begin one of the most memorable pieces of writing in all of recorded history, words of comfort, of safety, of enduring hope and peace.
Yes, peace; that’s what we feel in reading these words:
The Lord is my Shepherd…
Have you ever wondered why the Lord used sheep and a shepherd as metaphors to illustrate the relationship that He desires with us− it’s kind of interesting, isn’t it?
The shepherd leads the sheep; the sheep don’t lead the shepherd. The sheep are part of a flock, they don’t all run off to do their own thing. The shepherd decides where they will all lie down to rest; not the flock. The shepherd provides for the needs of the flock, the sheep don’t decide what they want and go for it; the shepherd restores their souls in the process. The flock allows the shepherd to lead them, they follow wherever He leads them: They surrender control to the shepherd.
I really can’t say how people reacted to this when it was first written, but in our time and place, most of us have trouble doing that− trusting, following, surrendering. I don’t know about you, but I want to be in green pastures, beside still waters with my needs met and my soul restored. Yet I’m inclined to make my own plans, my own paths and to be in control of my own destiny.
Yes, that’s it: I want to be in control.
The sheep do not lead the Shepherd, but I want the peace, the provision, the restoration…
O Lord, grant me the strength, the courage, to surrender to your leading this day, and all the days to follow…