January 08, 2010

My Shepherd Supplies

Psalm 23

He leads me beside quiet waters …
Psalm 23:2


Deep in the psyche of God’s people is a much–loved image: God is our shepherd. To some of us it may seem a clich?. But this phrase is a brutal put–down. If God is a shepherd, that makes us sheep!

Other animals take far less care than sheep. Cattle and horses, dogs and cats have more sense when they are on their own. But sheep need the watchful eye of their owner. Sheep can’t roar like a lion or run like a deer. They can’t even play dead. All they do is stand on their spindly legs or get themselves lost. Sheep are a fitting example of our spiritual weakness and cluelessness.

So why does this image appeal to people in trendy universities, chic urban hotspots, and well–manicured suburbs? Maybe in our deepest heart we recognize our own weakness and dependence. Maybe in our sane moments we sense that God’s companionship transforms every situation. Maybe deep down we want to be carried in the arms of a shepherd.

Are you in the middle of a messy divorce or custody battle? “The Lord is my shepherd.” Is your husband sick, and there’s no hope for a cure? “The Lord is my shepherd.” Is your teenager chanting, “I hate you”? “The Lord is my shepherd.” Are you in church for the first time in 40 years, or doing devotions for the first time? Why not say it? “The Lord is my shepherd.”

Shepherd God, we try to be so independent. We ignore you, run from you, even belittle you. But we need you. Help us to lean on you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

About the author — Kevin Adams

Dr. Kevin Adams has served as a church planter/pastor in the Sacramento, California, area since 1991. He and his wife, Gerry, began Granite Springs Church in Lincoln, and this congregation has helped to nourish several other church plants. Kevin also serves as a director of the Sierra Leadership Network, a training program for new church leaders.

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