One morning this week I found myself struggling to pray. My mind wandered to this and that, and my heart just could not stay settled. So, I began quoting the first Scripture passage that came to mind: Psalm 23. Only I didn’t get very far.
The Lord is my Shepherd…
Hmm, Lord, what does it mean that You are my Shepherd? I think it means that I should follow You. It means that my job is following and eating. You lead. You guide. You protect. You open and close the gates. I am to listen for Your voice and nourish myself as I exist in Your presence.
But, what about those wolves that linger about?
What about that other pasture we visited once?
What about the pastures You could take us to in the future?
What about these other sheep?
What about the sheep that should be here but aren’t?
I have a lot of questions, Lord. It seems that there are so many things that need to be solved. You are just leading us calmly. Do You see these issues? Do You think far enough ahead to get us to the next pasture at the right time? Do You remember how good the last pasture was? Don’t You think we should go back there? Oh, and do You see what he/she is doing! Oh my goodness! Are You really going to put up with that? Do You really know what’s going on?
But none of that is my business, is it? That is not my responsibility. You are my Shepherd. You are the Shepherd of each sheep around me. You know the dangers around us. You know the best place for each of us. Some of us needed to stay in the last pasture and some will go to the next field. But You know I am supposed to be right here.
You are my Shepherd. I am to cease striving and know the truth of who You are. If I obey, You will guide me right where I need to be. You will put me with the sheep with whom I need to interact. You will use me to draw in the sheep who as of yet have no fold.
Not only that, but as my Shepherd, You will provide my every need. I must not worry about the old pasture or a new pasture. You have placed me right here for a reason, and all I need will be provided by Your hand.
You are my Shepherd. The only question that remains is this: will I be the sheep I need to be?