Monday, we looked at Who the Good Shepherd is in our lives. Wednesday, we realized that we needed to rest awhile. Today, we begin our trek through the Valley.
Main Thought: When He leads us. . .for His name's sake – our hearts and minds are once again brought back to the idea of our Shepherd inviting us, beckoning us to follow Him. I find it interesting that David identifies that we need time in the pasture and by water with our Shepherd, because…what lies ahead is a journey and without the rest and refreshment we won't be prepared for the journey.
As the Shepherd leads us to new pastures, we must walk through “the valley”. Sheep are accustomed to following their shepherd. They know His voice & recognize it. As they enter “the valley”, the Shepherd moves to a new position – beside us. Why does He do this? Because we have blurry vision in the midst of our trials. By stepping beside us, He still speaks to us, but we feel His presence more strongly. We sense that He is next to us. This comforts us.
During “the valley” moments – we can trust the Shepherd – we should fear no evil. Why? Because we have seen Him do this in our lives before. We know that He will be by our side.
When we think that our trials have become too much, we think we have a better plan so we head off in a new direction. That's when the staff comes into play. The Shepherd uses the staff to gently make course corrections for us. Sometimes that staff doesn't feel so gentle. Sometimes the course corrections are a little painful, the Shepherd knows what we need when we need it. Not only does the Shepherd course correct us, but He protects us from harm. While in the valley, we may not feel like He is protecting us, because we are being bombarded, but that is not the case. He allows us to experience things, but He also (as my friend Andy says) is protecting us from a whole lot more, because we wouldn't be able to handle it.
When we take our eyes off our Shepherd – we lose all sense of direction.
Application: Do you see the Shepherd guiding and protecting you? If you don't see it, ask God to reveal it to you. Continue to rest in the Shepherd's arms. Reflect on the goodness of who God is. Tell Him that you love Him. Thank Him for His provision, His grace, His mercy, His love, and His correction.
Food For Thought: Isn't it comforting to know that God is beside you every step of the way?
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