I grew up in the country, in a semi-desert area, where we also had some sheep and goats. These animals needed a shepherd to look after them, as they needed to graze on huge, sparse fields, so my father hired a shepherd, and sometimes his grandsons, to look after them. These shepherds used to take the animals out of their fold in the mornings and lead them back again at night. While the shepherd was with them, they were always calm and undisturbed and not afraid of any jackals that sometimes prowled around. It makes me realize that when our Good Shepherd, Jesus, is with us, that we need not fear any enemies or dangers, but we need to keep our eyes fixed on Him.
Sheep can seldom get up by themselves if they fall onto their backs. They need someone to help lift them up. Likewise, we also need our Shepherd to help pick us up and set us on the right path again when we fall flat or make mistakes. Sheep will lie down when they feel safe, and they feel safe when they can see the shepherd.
David wrote the 23rd Psalm and he said in verse 2 “He, (my Shepherd) MAKES me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” Our Good Shepherd knows when we need to rest and causes us to do so when we learn to trust Him and rest in His love.
He lovingly helps us rest like David wrote in Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4). When we are aware of Christ in our lives, through the presence of the Holy Spirit, we find rest for our souls. We are able to cast ALL of our anxieties onto Him because our Good Shepherd is in control. He knows our names, He numbers every hair on our heads, He provides for our needs and says to us; “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. [John 10:27, 28]
Thank You Good Shepherd Jesus, that You know us personally, and love each one of us warmly. Thank You that we can feast in Your safe green, peaceful pastures where we find rest for our bodies, souls, and spirits. Please teach us to hear your Voice and to obey You in ALL things.