The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:1–4, ESV)
Growing up on a small farm in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada, I recall watching my grandfather tend to the growing flock of sheep that were closely huddled together in the six-generation-old barn for winter.
There was tenderness and warmth in his calloused hands that radiated nothing less than an abiding love. Each day he would feed his sheep grain and hay. He doctored the sick with penicillin. He often woke up in the early hours to ensure a safe delivery of a newborn lamb. If the pipes that lined the sheep’s manger froze during a bone-chilling snowstorm, he would be the first to hand-deliver a kettle of hot water, pouring it along the rubbery, iced pipes.
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 him as he would feed and lead them each day.
How could they not trust such a good shepherd?
It brings comfort to know that, like my grandfather, Jesus is a good shepherd. He knows us by name. Our Good Shepherd laid down his life for us—humbled Himself as a babe in a manger and though innocent, died on a cross for our sin. Whatever you are facing today, will you trust Jesus, the Messiah, as your Good Shepherd?