Before I get into today’s post, I want to re-visit yesterday’s just a little bit (here is a link to yesterday’s post in case you missed it). After I scheduled the post and signed off of the computer, God reminded me of a beautiful picture and He wanted me to share it with you.
Yesterday’s post was about The Good Shepherd leading us beside the still water and I talked about how a shepherd will take rocks and limbs to create a still, shallow pool for his flock to drink from. Why? Because sheep cannot swim and they are afraid of rushing or deep water.
So, let’s compare that rushing stream to the world and it’s fast pace way of living. We, as Christians, can get swept away in the current of things of the world if we are not careful. However, The Good Shepherd, Jesus, has gone before us and He provides a safe, calm, cool place for us to take long, deep drinks of the Stream of Life. The picture here is Jesus providing for us a place to come that is away from the rush of the “daily grind” and the world. Jesus calls us to the calmness of His refreshing Spring of Life. We just have to realize that He has provided that place for us and we have to make the time to slip away and refresh our souls and spirits with what The Good Shepherd has provided. Remember, He is the Living Water, The Spring of Life.
OK, on to today’s post. Today I am going to talk about the next part of the 23rd Psalm. “He restoreth my soul.” As before, I am going to give you an example of a shepherd and his flock and then relate it to our Good Shepherd and His flock.
From reading that book “A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23” I have learned so much about the life of a shepherd and his flock. You may be wondering how “He restores my soul” fits into the life of a sheep. I understand that sometimes a sheep can get turned over and cannot get up on its own. This situation is called a “cast” or “cast down” sheep. It happens when the sheep is heavy with lamb or its wool is long or it is a little overweight. If they get turned over they cannot right themselves. This can be fatal if the sheep is not found and righted back on its feet which is called “restoring the sheep”. The author of the book mentioned above tells about a ewe that was heavy with lamb and about every 2 or 3 days he would find her cast. He would have to keep a keen eye on her and go looking for her from time to time knowing this predicament she could find herself in. He shared a particular time when one of his sheep was missing and he began frantically looking for her. He said he spent hours searching for her. Suddenly he would see her in the distance and yes, she was cast. He would run to her to help her, in fear and excitement. Fear for he wasn’t sure if she would be alive or not and excitement in hopes that he was not too late and he was just happy to find her.
I think this is a beautiful picture of how our God is in pursuit of us, especially when we are “cast” – in a predicament that we cannot seem to get ourselves out of. We find ourselves so wrapped up in something and we are not sure how we wound up so far away from where we should have been. The Good Shepherd is constantly counting His sheep to make sure they are all together and where they should be. More times than not, there is one, or more, who is out away from the flock. Either in a “cast” situation or simply lost on another path. He seeks to save us time and time again. He will leave the ninety and nine for that one. Jesus told a parable about the shepherd leaving his ninety and nine for the one that was lost.
Matthew 18:12-14 – 12 “What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? 13 If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. 14 So it is not the will [a]of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.”
Knowing human nature is why Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:12 – 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. However, it is with tenderness and compassion that our Good Shepherd – when finding a “cast” one –restores the soul. He is not upset, mad or disgusted. He simply is celebrating that He is able to restore their soul back into the fold of the flock. What a beautiful picture. I would like to begin wrap this post up with a quote from the book… “I know of nothing which so quiets and enlivens my own spiritual life as the knowledge that “God knows what He is doing with me!” I can say, “yes, I agree!” The Lord is My Shepherd!
The Song – I’m Coming Home – Carman