A few months ago, I had the privilege to teach Psalm 23 at an open tent meeting in the USA. It was a beautiful place, with a large green field and a pond that sat right in the middle of it. This place was so calm and peaceful. When I came to verse 2 of the Psalm, I was amazed by how real this verse became to me in the context of that beautiful place. I pictured many sheep relaxed in this place of plenty, gently grazing without any worries or stress, because they have everything they need; they are provided for completely.
The reality is that sheep strongly rely on their shepherd; they can very easily go astray and need to be guided every step of the way. When the sheep lie down in green pastures, they are relaxed; there is plenty of food, as well as much peace. However, when the grass is consumed and the field dries up, it’s time to move to the next green pasture. But the sheep have to rely on their shepherd to take them. It is only when the shepherd calls the sheep that they can safely move from that place of dryness to the next place of greenery.
Just like the sheep, we too have to rely on our Shepherd to take us to the next place of greenery. Yet, we often keep our gaze focused on the ground, unaware that we are no longer in that place of peace, eating lush, green food, but that the food has been replaced by dry weeds and dirt. Our Shepherd calls us to move to the next pasture, but we often do not hear Him…
Have you been in a place where you lay down in green pastures, enjoyed the Lord’s peace and His plentiful provision? Yet, perhaps you kept your head stuck in the peace, the richness, and abundance, and forgot to follow your Shepherd? Are you now in that place of unrest, & dryness, and your life is full of the dirt of this world?
If you are in that place today, let me encourage you to return to your Shepherd and start to follow Him once again. He is always available to welcome you back in His arms full of compassion and concern. Keep your eyes on Him, trust Him, and don’t let the circumstances of your life, whether in times of feast or famine, affect the way you follow your Shepherd.
“Two things I asked of Thee, Do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, Lest I be full and deny Thee and say, “Who is the LORD?” Or lest I be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God.” Proverbs 30:7-9
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