The Lord is my shepherd.
These five words will change your life forever if you truly accept them and make them a part of who -- and whose -- you are.
The concept is simple, really.
This doesn't say, a Lord, but rather, the Lord. It's clear. There is one Lord; the Lord.
And neither you nor I are that Lord.
Recognizing that there is one Lord is the first step, but there is another, more important and more difficult step -- surrender.
To honestly declare that the Lord is our shepherd, we must first understand the role of the shepherd.
It's no accident that the inspired writer chose to refer to the Lord as a shepherd.
Shepherds in our physical world take the responsibility for their flocks seriously, and they endure great hardship and assume significant risks to ensure they provide for those entrusted to them.
They lead, feed, and protect their flocks.
They know each of their sheep as individuals, and they understand their unique personalities and needs.
They're mindful of their strengths and weaknesses.
They train and encourage the young.
They gently treat the wounded.
They discipline the wayward.
They carry the weak.
If a sheep strays from the flock, then the shepherd searches high and low to rescue that lost and vulnerable one.
...IS MY SHEPHERD
If the Lord is my shepherd -- that is, if I am willing to surrender to His care (He won't force me) -- then I can depend on Him to lead, feed, and protect me.
He'll know my personality and understand my strengths and weaknesses.
He'll train and encourage me.
He'll provide comfort and healing for my wounds.
He'll discipline me.
He'll carry me when I am weak.
He'll stop at nothing to rescue me.
In fact, He proved that on a lonely hill just outside of Jerusalem, so I have no doubts.
"The Lord is MY shepherd."
These five words change everything.
If you would like to know more about the Good Shepherd, check out W. Phillip Keller's wonderful book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. This book provides beautiful "insights into the life and character of sheep -- and of the Good Shepherd who loves and cares for them." I've read this book many times and I grow in my appreciation for the Lord's care every time.
Is the Lord your shepherd? Share your thoughts below.