Following the Shepherd
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1
It’s a cold, windy and drizzly night and I just got word that a friend received some really bad news about a job prospect that isn’t coming through. I have friends battling cancer, another unconscious in the hospital and countless others struggling with the isolation and uncertainty that COVID has brought. When bad news surrounds me, I’m reminded that I have a Good Shepherd to lean on.
I’m writing this on January 26, the one year anniversary of the helicopter crash that took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi and seven others. Today, this tragedy still weighs on me as does much of the sadness of 2020 in general. Kobe’s best friend, Rob Pelinka, shared with his home church the need to trust in the Good Shepherd as he grieved this loss and shouldered the responsibility to guide the Lakers in a difficult time. Pelinka said, “The Lord is our shepherd and we shall not live in want…this COVID time of loss, losing a friend, losing a god-daughter…knowing our daily sustenance…comes from God’s love [is what carried me through].”
We learned last Sunday that our great Creator and Sustainer Jesus—who holds all things together—also knows suffering. So I’m simply inviting you to pray Psalm 23 today and to lean on the Good Shepherd, knowing he is sympathetic and strong, committed and caring. He goes after the one lost sheep so that should remind us that our lostness and neediness doesn’t repel him. Through the ups and downs of life, you can rely on his presence and his power to make sense of the disappointments and discouragements.
LIVING INTO GOD’S WORD
Think of that thing weighing on you right now. Now let’s take that to the Lord as we pray:
23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
Jesus, you are the Good Shepherd and you haven’t abandoned me amidst these disappointments. I know you’re familiar with suffering and that you empathize with me. Breathe hope into me as I trust in you. Forgive me for not seeing your faithfulness. Give me eyes to see your presence and ears to hear your voice. Amen.