Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Can Jesus take care of you in every situation? Will the Shepherd provide for you at every point along the journey? One of the great responsibilities your Shepherd has is to defend and protect you from the surrounding enemies in your life. Many things try to get in and destroy you, but God is your Shepherd, protecting you from that which would harm you. In fact, he is so good at protection, the sheep often have no clue there was a predator nearby.
Jesus is our Good Shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep. Are you finding that's a recurring theme this week? The gospel once again is the answer to our fears and needs. On the cross, our Shepherd kept the enemy of our soul at bay. He defended us from death and then triumphantly defeated death for us three days later by rising from the grave by his own power. If Jesus has the power to beat death for us, why do we struggle trusting him to protect us from our enemies today?
It is in the presence of our enemies that our Shepherd provides for us. All the predators can do is look on as we enjoy the provision and food the Shepherd has given. Are you going through a particularly difficult time right now? Are there problems at home? Do you feel attacked at school or harassed for the sake of Jesus? Those hardships will not be the end of you if you belong to the Good Shepherd. Your enemies are powerless to harm you, and you will discover that the Shepherd turns your difficulties into a banquet that makes you more strong and healthy. What an incredible Shepherd you have!
Finally, note the care and attention each sheep is given by Jesus. The oil removes parasites that can damage and harm the sheep. The Shepherd intimately takes care of each of his sheep. His blessings continue to pour into our lives that we have no more place to store them. We are running over with blessings. The next time you wonder if your Shepherd really cares, go back to the cross and see him hanging and dying for you. You were on his mind then. Why would you be far from his heart now?
Food for thought: It is one thing to survive a threat, but it is quite another to turn that threat into a triumph.