Recent meditations on Psalm 23 have me thinking a great deal on shepherds and sheep. For a while, I have been melted by the truth that I am the poor, helpless, anxious sheep, and The Lord is my good and caring Shepherd. But, God has also opened my eyes to His command for me to be a shepherd to other sheep. He speaks to me as He did to Peter when He said, “Do you love me? …. Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17). But, Lord, I am just a helpless sheep, who often stumbles and falls. How can you use me? It manifests God’s power and glory when He can use dumb sheep, like me, for the work of His kingdom. He certainly doesn’t need me, but He chooses to use me. He provides me with everything to do the work He has prepared for me to do. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3).
The more I think about sheep, the more I think of my son. My husband and I went away for a couple of days, and his parents kindly offered to watch the kids for us. My son was overcome with anxiety even before we left. I told him the day before we left to give him time to adjust, but not too much time that he would be a wreck. Though he knows his grandparents and is very familiar with their house, the fact that we would not be around him for a few days was a lot for him to bear. “I think I’m gonna miss you” were his words to me when I kissed him goodbye. And when we called during our trip to check on them, the first thing he said was “Why is it taking a long time? Why are you not here yet?” Being experts at spoiling our children, Grandma and Grandpa did their best to make it a fun time with them. But Gabriel was not easily thwarted from his worries and fears. He really is my little lamb. As he finds peace and comfort in the knowledge of my presence, I pray he would come to know the greater and lasting peace from Jesus Christ Himself.
By God’s mercy and grace, He has given me a few sheep to look after. The little ones, running around in the church nursery, who are eager to hear amazing stories from God’s Word. The young women in my Bible study, who have numerous questions about their new roles as wife and mother. And, of course, my precious children, who God has entrusted to me and my husband to raise them up in the discipline and instruction of The Lord.
Who are your sheep? As we experience the care of our Lord, we are, in turn, to demonstrate the same love for the sheep under our stewardship, by feeding them His Word and pointing them to the presence of the Good Shepherd who will completely satisfy their souls.
(Photo credit 1: Dave Hamster)