THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK (PART 5)

Ending yesterday’s post with the thought that The Good Shepherd will take care of us… I love the comparison of the shepherd and his flock of sheep to The Good Shepherd (Jesus) and us – Christians – as His flock of sheep (followers). I can so relate to so many things when you begin to compare the two. Here is the link to yesterday’s post if you didn’t get to read it.

Now on to today’s post. Today I am going to look at “He leadeth me beside the still waters”. First of all, I read one time in another book, about a shepherd and his sheep, that sheep simply are afraid of fast moving water or deep water. The main reason is they cannot swim. Their wool soaks up water and they sink. It is a horrible feeling to not be able to do anything if swept under because you are simply too heavy and cannot swim! I recall one time I was visiting with a girlfriend one weekend and we went to their lake house. I was about 10 or 11 and I could not swim. She and I, along with her little brother, were out on the boat dock out in front of their lake house. There were some older “boys” trolling along in their fancy boat and we caught their eye, I guess. They hooped and hollered out at us and I guess my girlfriend became so confused, excited or “whatever” and knowing I couldn’t swim – but NOT THINKING… pushed me into the lake. I was so shocked and taken totally off guard! I can see it like it was yesterday. Well, needless to say she was embarrassed after she realized what she had done… because I was flailing in the water and going down. imagesShe and her brother jumped in to try to help and all I did was try to get on top of them to save myself. Then her mother came running down and jumped in. I did the same thing to her. Then on my 3rd time up … or 5th or 6th … I saw her dad laying down on the dock and putting out his big, long, strong arm. I grabbed it quick! He simply picked me up out of the water, made sure I was ok and then helped everyone else out of the water! Luckily… he showed up just in time! So, I know how it feels to be going down for the last time and no one can help you! It was very frightening!

Well, poor sheep are simply not very bright and the shepherd knows this. If there is a water source and it is a fast moving stream, he will take rocks and logs or anything he can find to make a shallow, calm pool of water and leads his sheep to it to drink. This way he doesn’t have to worry about them drowning. He cares about his sheep and their well-being enough to do whatever it takes to make it safe for them ahead of time – before the sheep are in the vicinity. He has to think ahead so he has time to create a safe environment for his flock.  besidestillwaterssheep

Also, if fresh, clean water is not supplied to sheep, they will drink from any dirty, diseased pool to try to get refreshed. Again, they are not too bright.

In comparison, our Good Shepherd, has gone ahead of us and created a place of calm for us to take long, deep drinks of His refreshing, cool water. When we thirst – spiritually – He (Jesus) provides Living Water that never runs dry! Jesus said of Himself in John 4 that He is the “Living Water”.

John 4

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered and saiimages 3d to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

Also …

John 7:37 – In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

This link will take you to a website I found that lists several scriptures about Living Water. Spiritually speaking, if there is not clean water for us to drink from, we as humans, seek elsewhere and Jesus knew this about our nature. That is why He provides all the cool, clear Living Water we need to refresh our dry, thirsty souls. We don’t have to look too far or long to find the refreshing Spring of Jesus Christ. He is always there to provide. We just have to call out His name, He is there.

Also, along with the cool, shallow pool that a shepherd provides sometimes, in the book “A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23”, the author, W. Phillip Keller, talks about the morning dew on the grass in the morning. EARLY MORNINGHe says that it is the sheep’s nature to rise early and feast on the dew drenched grass of the early morning. I can just see a picture of that in my mind’s eye… the meadow of knee high grass glistening in the early morning sunrise with a beautiful flock of sheep right in the middle … munching away and almost smiling! The mornings are very special apparently to sheep and to some humans. For myself, mornings are my most special time with God. I love waking up and starting my day with the Spring of Life! The following is a quote from W. Phillip Keller’s book:

“In the Christian life it is of more than passing significance to observe that those who are often the most serene, most confident, and able to cope with life’s complexities are those who rise early each day to feed on God’s Word. It is in the quiet, early hours of the morning that they are led beside the quiet, still waters where they imbibe the very life of Christ for the day. This is much more than mere figure of speech. It is practical reality. The biographies of the great men and women of God repeatedly point out how the secret of the success in their spiritual life was attributed to the “quiet time of each morning.” There, alone, still waiting for the Master’s voice, one is led gently to the place where, as the old hymn puts it, “The still dews of His Spirit can be dropped into my life and soul.” GreenPastures

“One comes away from these hours of meditation, reflection and communion with Christ refreshed in mind and spirit. The thirst is slaked and the heart is quietly satisfied.”

“Only the Spirit and life of Christ Himself will satisfy the thirsting soul.”

That just about says it for me. He has such a way with words and I love the picture he paints with his words. Mornings are very special and can be made even more special when spent drenching your soul and spirit with time with your Good Shepherd.

I challenge you to find your cool, calm Spring of that Living Water. Jesus is waiting to spend time with you. Maybe you aren’t a morning person. Find some time that is just time alone with The Master, The Good Shepherd. It will change your life. He loves you so much! Remember, after all, He calls you His beloved!

The Song – Springs of Life – Ginny Owens (I am including lyrics below)

How many days, Lord, have I walked in this wilderness?
A thirsty pilgrim with no water to drink
And this barren place is making me crazy
But in my desperation, I am forced to think

Seems like I have spent so much time searchin’
In a dry and weary land where there’s no truth
But I think I’m finally realizin’ that my only hope of water
Is the well that comes from You, so

Rain down Your love upon me, pour out Your mercy on me
Please won’t You take me to Your springs of life?
‘Cause I’m dying for deliverance, only You can save me
I’m waitin’, please won’t You take me to Your springs of life?

Oh God, You are my God and my spirit seeks You
But my flesh has failed You time and time again
And now I’ve chosen this desert when Your love was waitin’
But Your stubborn child longs to understand

So I’ll not waste another minute searchin’
In a dry and weary land where there’s no truth
Oh, I think I’m finally realizin’ that my only hope of water
Is the well that comes from You, so

Songwriters
LILES, DWIGHT / OWENS, GINNY

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