The Good Shepherd

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1, NASB).

Recently, I relived an unforgettable childhood memory while reflecting on Phillip Keller’s book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. Keller describes “shall not want” as being completely satisfied with the Lord’s management of my life.

One wintry night my grandfather and I started chores in his snow-covered barn in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. My duty that evening was to give the sheep their portion of grain. I filled a large bucket from a nearby granary, and carried it back to the sheep pen. After maneuvering through the crowded maze of bleating sheep, I poured the grain into their feeding trough for all to enjoy.

Suddenly, as I stepped out of the pen, a selfish ewe charged her way through the flock toward the feeding trough. Butting the other ewes aside, she began to gulp down the grain greedily. Then, just seconds after this aggressive behavior, she abruptly stopped eating, jerked back from the feeder, and began gasping for air.

With great urgency, my grandfather told me to climb back into the pen to help clear her throat. I quickly made my way to the desperate sheep and tried to open up her airway with my fingers. My efforts were in vain. Moments later, we stood staring at the lifeless ewe on the ground before us.

I will never forget my grandfather’s words that pierced the silence, “You foolish sheep!” My grandfather had consistently and unfailingly provided the daily portion of grain for her benefit and well-being. Why then did the ewe forget her good shepherd’s loving care?

As you reflect on God’s gift and provision in the birth of our Savior during this season, may this story remind you to ask the question, “Am I fully and completely satisfied with my Good Shepherd’s loving leadership and management of my life?”