We have goats on our farm, two are pregnant and due in the next month or so. I am excited to have new little ones and add to our flock. Even though we don’t own hundreds of goats or ducks, my husband and I are still shepherds. We must care for the animals and make sure they are fed, watered, protected. We have to keep track of medications given, production of eggs or milk. The animals may have instincts to guide them through their days, but ultimately, it is still our responsibility to care for them.
Jesus is called our Shepherd. He cares for us, guiding us along the paths we are to take. Keeping us away from the cliffs and the crevices where we could be harmed. Jesus knows the places where it is safe to lay our heads, where the purest water can be found. Jesus knows where the sweet grasses are for our fortification. Jesus knows.
Most of us are familiar with the story from Luke 15 and the lost sheep. The shepherd will leave the ninety-nine sheep, safely tucked away, to go and search for the lost sheep. When he finds the lost sheep and returns it to the flock, the shepherd celebrates that the lost has been found.
Are you a parent? An uncle or an aunt? Are you a grandparent? A teacher? A mentor? Then you are a shepherd. You are responsible for the growing, the maturing, the protection of the ones in your care. If you wouldn’t allow a single thing to harm the children and people in your care, then what makes you think Jesus would care for you any less? That you are any less important to Him?
What about us? Do we trust Jesus to lead us down the right paths? Do we think we will miss out on something “better” if we don’t follow our own ideas? We may believe that what we want to eat and drink is better than what Jesus will bring to us. Dear One, what is keeping you from trusting the Shepherd today?
Precious child, the love Jesus has for you is insurmountable, never lost, never shaken. He loves you, period. Is it time to turn back to the Shepherd? He is waiting to bring you back. He will not scold you for walking away, shame is not His motive. He loves you and longs to bring you back to join Him in what He is doing. He will clean you up, healing the wounds you have received while wandering. He will celebrate your return and so will the rest of the flock.
Come, let us turn back together and go forward on the path where Jesus will lead us.