The Lord Is My Shepherd

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
John 10:11 (NIV)

Times are changing, aren’t they? Sometimes that’s good. If we lived in the 1300s, we’d be plucking our hairlines in pursuit of higher foreheads. Thank heaven things have changed!

But sometimes change doesn’t feel so good. Especially when it seems to be constant. We turn on the news one day, and one thing seems to be true. We turn it on another day, and something entirely different is “true.” Most of us have never longed for certainty more than we do today. Fortunately, we can find it in Jesus, the Shepherd of our souls. In the opening of Psalm 23, David shares a promise––

We shall not want.

Did I just write that? “We shall not want.” If I could be honest, there is plenty that I want right now. World peace. Guarantees for my children’s futures. Good health as I age. How about something huge like no varicose veins? I’m pretty sure we could all say, “God, I want ____________!”

God's promise is that if we know Him as Shepherd, we shall not want. Click To Tweet

This promise sounds like a tall order and yet it’s easier to receive it when we look at the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep.

Years ago, my son’s Sunday School teacher gave him the classic book, A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23. The author W. Phillip Keller was a shepherd. Keller understood, like David, the bond between a shepherd and his sheep. His experiences shed light on the layered meanings of the Psalm.

A sheep that does not want is a sheep that is content. Circumstances regarding the sheep’s well-being may flux and even be challenged. But changing external conditions do not change the internal contentedness of the sheep.

When the Shepherd is present, the sheep know that all will be well.

Keller puts it best when he says, “I am completely satisfied with His management of my life. Why? Because He is the sheepman to whom no trouble is too great as He cares for His flock. He will, if necessary, be on the job 24 hours a day to see that they are properly provided for in every detail. Above all, He is very jealous of His name and a high reputation as “the Good Shepherd.”

David closes Psalm 23 with another powerful promise––

Goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives.

Do you believe this? I had to ask myself if I do. And so, I paused and reflected on the past. As I looked back, I couldn’t help but see a trail of hardship. Loss of loved ones. Financial burdens and health crises. The list could go on, but even as I recollected, I realized that history was simply a confirmation of what Jesus said “… in this world, you will have trouble.” John 16:33(NIV)

But did the hardships mean that there was not also mercy or goodness? Was it possible that the difficulties in and of themselves were evidence of mercy? Perhaps things could have been even more difficult if God had not been there? Likewise, can I confidently say that even the most difficult circumstances also brought me some kind of good? The answer to each and every one of those situations is a resounding, yes!

Life is hard, but we can be confident that because of God's goodness and mercy, the hard becomes bearable and sometimes… even beautiful. Click To Tweet

Again, in Keller’s words, “…I realize that for the one who is truly in Christ’s care, no difficulty can arise, no dilemma emerge, no seeming disaster descend on life without eventual good coming out of the chaos. This is the goodness and mercy of my Master in my life. It has become the great foundation of my faith and confidence in Him.”

I’ve barely scratched the surface of the many unfaltering promises of Psalm 23. Not only are we promised contentment, mercy, and goodness. God says He will help us rest, He will lead us, restore us, give us courage in the darkest of valleys, provide for us to overflowing, and invite us to live with Him forever.

This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for God as our Shepherd.

“May we…give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.” Psalm 135:1 (NIV)

He is good, indeed. A good, good Shepherd!

Reflection Questions

Do you feel content with God’s “management of your life”? If so, take a moment to thank Him. If not, confess that to Him. Ask Him to help you trust Him and His care regarding every detail of your life.

Can you look back on hard times and see the hand of God? If so, what is a situation you are facing right now that God’s past mercy and goodness can encourage you?

Prayer

God, I am thankful that You are an unchanging God. I’m grateful that You are the Good Shepherd who has laid down His life for me. How can I lack contentment and peace regarding Your care when I know that You loved me enough to die for me? Thank You also that Your mercy and goodness endure forever. Thank You for being eager to pour them over my life each and every day. You have given me so much to be grateful for. I praise You, and I give You thanks! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

9 thoughts on “The Lord Is My Shepherd

Jodie

Yes, yes, yes!

Praise God from whom all blessings fall. And when I fall into the trap of forgetting Who God is, forgive me.

Thank you for leading the way today, Cindy.

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    CINDY KRALL

    I’m grateful that He knows how forgetful I am too and yet it never stops Him from being there at the ready the very moment I need Him! Happy Thanksgiving friend!

    Reply

Nancy Silvers

Thank you Cindy! Yesterday I went to the alter to pray and told God how I did not understand some things that are happening in my life ( listed each thing) but that I trust Him to be in the details and that He is working all for my good and His glory. Reading this, this morning, I just realized I have a new peace and am very content even with all that is going on in my life and our beautiful country. We have a good, good shepherd and the only want I have is to have more of Jesus!!

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    CINDY KRALL

    Oh Nancy, your faith is a testimony to many (including me)! I’m so grateful for the peace you feel. He is the One who gives it, that is for certain. I hope you have a truly wonderful week full of contentedness and continued gratitude!

    Reply

Angie Hayes

What a timely word, Cindy. So much uncertainty all around us has sounded the soul’s call to lift up our eyes to see from where our help comes. Through all of the challenges I am authentically whispering to my soul, “Jesus, You are my cup and my portion forever and You, alone are trustworthy.” I love you, Cindy!

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    CINDY KRALL

    Oh Miss Angie… I love you! And what a worthy phrase to repeat! I think I’ll borrow it from you this week too, “Jesus, my cup and my portion!” Happy Thanksgiving friend!

    Reply

DeAnn

Thank you so much for this Cindy. Your words brought comfort and peace to my heart and soul. Thank you! It also brought tears! So meaningful Cindy. You are a blessing to me and to many many others. Bless you dear friend. ❤️🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻 (It was just what I needed today)!

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    Cindy Krall

    I’m so glad DeAnn. I confess I’ve had to “take my thoughts captive” on more than one occasion these days. If I’m not careful anxiety tries to gain a toe hold. Scripture is my lifeline and this “good ol'” Psalm really spoke to me. What a gift that it spoke to you too. Happy Thanksgiving DeAnn!

    Reply

Faye

Cindy, Just about a year or so ago our ladies pop up Bible Study did a study on that book and it was wonderful! So enjoyed you reminding me of some of God’s promises on times like these. You remain in my prayers. Happy Thanksgiving.

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