I am a sheep. My slightly drooped eyes and lazy trot tell the story. I am wandering, vulnerable. Dumb. Completely stupid and undiscerning. Even as I type these words, my mind screams, “NO”. I’m not any of those. I’m smart. Strong. Independent.
Not that raucous sneer a villain throws out when he has pinned down a victim. No. It’s the mildly amused, long suffering soft laugh a Father would give a child who thinks he can drive at age three. That kind.
I am undependable. Fickle. A prey to wolves. If I were left on my own, I would make fast acquaintance with one of them. He says I shouldn’t play with them but I stubbornly jut out my chin, stamp my foot and insist I know better.
Yet I laugh at Adam and Eve.
I am a sheep. Yes. And you know what more?
The Lord IS MY Shepherd.
I mean really. He is. Not me, no matter how foolishly I insist I know. He constantly is. No one else but Him. Mine. My very own Shepherd. And I’m not even paying.
I have all I ever need.
He relentlessly gives me fodder so I lack nothing. Not even a hair on my fur is amiss. Not even a parched throat or dehydration hits me. He gives me. All the time.
He MAKES me lie in lush pastures.
I pretend I know everything but I can’t even string two steps together enough to lay myself down. He has to do that for me. If I were left alone, I would struggle, bleat and grunt until I’m finally able to lie in soggy, stinking puddle. But HE MAKES me lie in GREEN PASTURES. He lays me down. Gently. Lovingly. In green, fresh, lush pasture. In abundance.
He leads me beside serene waters.
Not the turbulent, wild storms. But peaceful, restful waters. The ones I can even walk on.
He renovates my soul.
I fall. I stumble. I’m weak. He stocks me up. Refreshes me. Restores me. Strengthens me. No wonder he laughs when I think or dare say I am strong. HE is the strong one. Stupid sheep.
He leads me in righteous paths. For Him.
I am a very good person.Seriously. I promise. I don’t steal or cheat. I don’t even kill people. But then, I realized all that was raggedy. I DO NOT have to try SO HARD. He LEADS me in blameless paths. For His namesake. He will do it because, I’m telling you, His name is at stake here! If only I’ll let Him lead me.
Yes, even if I walk through the deep, sunless, shadow of death valley, I’m not scared because you are present with me.
Sometimes I will wander from your side and find myself in that deep, dreaded dark valley of death. Where all that surrounds me is empty, thick darkness and the sound of my own strained breath. But still you are there with me. Shame on fear. I’m not scared.
You have a walking stick, with which you guide and help me. They bring me comfort.
I can hear your steady taps as I follow the sounds in the dark. I find you right here. In the pages of my worn out hard-back, labelled “Bible”. I find comfort here. Even in the dark.
You prepare a delicacy for me in front of my haters.
They are wolves. But there’s a meal for me. Before them. They salivate. Want to gobble my food and me up in one bite but God, you shame them.
You pour sweet scenting oil on my head until I have an overflow.
You have filled me thoroughly and truly with your oil. Your Spirit. You’ve dabbed me with all that you are. In excess. Which is why I wonder how I would decide to throw all that away in my moments of stupidity. Dumb, undeserving sheep. No wonder the devil hates me.
Most assuredly, goodness, mercy and unfailing love shall FOLLOW me, ALL my life and I’ll forever bask in Your presence.
All your goodness, all your love and grace will follow me. Not on twitter. But ALL the pages that you stuff into this wonderfully beautiful book that is my life.
Because I am a sheep. And He is my Shepherd.
Adapted from David’s Psalm – Psalm 23.
I’ve been musing on this Psalm lately and just couldn’t help it. I had to write it. It amazed me how many times I have recited this Psalm without even thinking about it.
Are you a Sheep?