The Caring Shepherd

August 18, 2019

Written by Patty Domagala

I think I was 6 or 7 when I first learned the 23rd Psalm.  I recited it over and over, each time getting better at the words.  Then when I reached my teens, the words sounded different, even though they were still the same.  But I had changed.  My view of the world was not that of a child, and so the words read with a different meaning to my heart.  Then I grew older and they were still ever true and comforting, but not the same.

Fortunately for me, God and His words had never changed, but stayed the same.  His unfailing love for me was still as strong as when He first spoke my name.  This psalm is like an old friend; ever present, ever comforting, and ever able to give me peace.

When I was researching for today’s sermon, I read a story by Max Lucado.  I would like to share it with you:  “I hope the caring Shepherd speaks to your heart.  He spoke to mine.  In the 23rd Psalm, David portrayed God as a Caring shepherd.  This shepherd protected his sheep from harm.  Although we may face situations, God leads us safely as a shepherd would do for his sheep.  ‘She’ll not live all day’, a physician told an attending nurse.  Concerned, the nurse befriended the dying woman and in a few hours had won her confidence.  Motioning the nurse to come near, the old woman said sorrowfully, ‘I have travelled all the way from California by myself, stopping at every city of importance between San Francisco and Boston.  In each city I visit two places, the police station and the hospital.  You see, my boy ran away from home and I have no idea where he is.  I’ve got to find him!!!  The mother’s eyes seemed to flash a ray of hope as she added, ‘Someday he may even come into his very hospital, and if he does, please promise me you’ll tell him his two best friends never gave up on him’.  Bending over the dying mother, the nurse whispered softly, ‘Tell me the name of those two friends so I can tell you son if I ever see him’.  With trembling lips and her eyes filled with tears, the mother responded, ’Tell him those two friends were God and his mother’, and she closed her eyes and died.” 

God, even more than a forgiving mother, never gives up on His children.  His forgiveness is uniquely infinite.  And since God is the ultimate of forgiveness, to think on God is to immerse yourself in thoughts of forgiveness rather than failure.  Just as this mother searched for her lost son, so does God look for all his lost sons and daughters.  His great love for all the children of God will keep him searching as long as it takes.

Find your bearings today by following the Caring Shepherd.  Trust Jesus today to lead you to an eternal home, the source of living water, and to take care of us even when we are afraid or threatened by enemies.  We can trust in the promise of salvation and eternal life when we follow Jesus and trust God’s goodness and grace.  Amen.