“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice … I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep” (John 10:4, 14–15, NKJV).
Growing up on a small farm in rural Canada, I recall watching my grandfather tend to the growing flock of sheep that was closely huddled together in the old, six-generation barn for winter.
There was tenderness in his calloused hands and warmth that radiated nothing less than an abiding love. Each day he would feed them grain and hay. He doctored the sick with penicillin. He woke up often in the early hours to ensure the safe delivery of a newborn lamb. If the pipes froze during a chilling snowstorm, he would be the first to hand deliver a kettle of hot water, pouring it along the rubbery, iced pipes that lined the manger.
All of us who worked alongside Grandpa knew of his love for the flock. But it was those simple sheep that knew his love most.
“Come Nannie! Come Nannie!” Grandpa would call in a firm, but gentle tone. The sheep were never startled or panicked by his beckon. They yearned for his voice of loving leadership. They followed his cadence as he would feed and lead them one day at a time.
How could they not trust such a good shepherd?
It brings comfort to know that, like my grandfather, Jesus is our Good Shepherd. He knows us by name. He gave His life for us, humbled as a babe in a manger, and, though innocent, even died on a cross.
Yes, the path on which He leads us is often winding and difficult. But how can we not trust Jesus, the Good Shepherd?