Shepherd

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1

The first thing that comes to mind when reading David’s psalm is a picture of Christ hanging on a cross, his body bruised and bloody. Not exactly the peaceful scene in paintings of a shepherd holding a lamb in a lush meadow.

However, if you’ve spent time with animals, you understand my thoughts. There is a price one must pay for the privilege of owning sheep. They require patience, energy, and sacrifice. David’s psalm helps me understand the price the Good Shepherd paid for me.

Through the years, I’ve taken care of horses, goats, chickens, rabbits, dogs, and hogs. And each one came with a price. For whether you buy, trade, or accept animals as gifts, you can bank on paying for that animal in blood, sweat, and tears.

Blood and sweat because caring for animals is a messy job. Your hands will become scarred and dirty in the process. Tears because caring for an animal while they are sick or dying is one of the hardest things an owner will ever do. Sooner or later, you will eventually give part of your life to and for that animal.

Another responsibility David spoke of in this psalm is guard duty. Shepherds must protect their sheep from parasites, disease, and predators.

Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.” John 10:7

During good weather, shepherds kept their sheep in the countryside. A circle of rocks created a pen without a gate. The shepherd protected the sheep by stretching his body across the opening. What a beautiful depiction of his love and care for us.

I’m so glad the Lord is my Shepherd. How about you?