Saturday, March 9, 2013

Psalm 23:2-3

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
-Andy Gleiser

You cannot comprehend the utter delight you are to your Shepherd. He is the King of the world and yet you are his irreplaceable treasure! Do you believe that? Your Shepherd's delight is to delight you. 
He delights you with rest. Sheep don't sleep if they have no peace. If anxious about prowlers, they can't lie down. If annoyed by parasites, they can't relax. If aching with hunger, they can't rest. But when you see a sheep lie down, you see a sheep at rest. It is always the shepherd who works to bring rest to the sheep! What weighs heavily on your mind or even scares you at night? What causes moments of panic to you? Have you noticed you can't quiet your own heart? You are a sheep in need of a Shepherd to quiet you.
Jesus said in John 10:14-15 that he is the Good Shepherd. He is aware of the entirety and enormity of what is bothering you. But Jesus doesn't just know about your anxieties, he did something about it. The Shepherd became a Lamb to experience his sheep's pain. Then he died for the sheep to make a way for the sheep to be at rest. If you are disquieted in heart, the answer is found at the cross. When gripped by fear, take your heart back to the Lamb sacrificed on the tree. 
He delights you with refreshment. Sheep left to themselves to find water will get into trouble. They will drink from muddy groundwater and parasite-infected pools. Like sheep, we are attracted to the stagnant ponds of the world thinking they will satisfy our thirst. We drink from music, books, art, entertainment, achievement, and money trying to gain happiness from them. Though they are all gifts from God, they cannot bring satisfaction. You were made for another world. Find refreshment in Jesus.
He delights you with restoration. The Shepherd revives the soul and gives strength to the sheep for the journey. You don't need to wait for camps, mission trips, or even Sunday to find revival. Today, you can find the restoration of soul you need. Get alone with your Shepherd and open your heart to him. 
He delights you with roads of righteousness. The wise Shepherd takes his sheep down the right paths. Notice that he is leading the sheep on the path. He has not abandoned the sheep on the road. He has looked ahead. He has been there before. He knows where he's taking you. Behind everything he does is a zeal for his name and his glory.

Food for thought: "You can't always trace the hand of God, but you can always trust it." (Robert Moffat)