The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
If the Lord is our shepherd, then we are His little sheep, and He is everything we need Him to be—provider, defender, leader, comforter. He is our strength and our redeemer, the source of all we have and the giver of what we lack. And He tends to His sheep with a special care and concern as if each one were His one and only. He soothes our hurt and brings us joy and allows us the privilege of dwelling near to Him in His presence forever. We never have to fear a day where we will no longer be a part of His flock. He takes us as His own and keeps us in His pasture for all eternity. We just need to look to Him, depend on Him, trust Him, and follow Him.
He is our Good Shepherd, and certainly He has our best interest at heart, even in those times where it doesn’t seem like what we are in the midst of is very pleasant at all. Those valleys of shadows take us up to higher ground. Those places of darkness help us appreciate the light. Those strenuous climbs help us get stronger. Those treks along the narrow paths where we can’t see our way, but can only see Christ in front of us leading us on, teach us to depend on Him alone.
And when a good shepherd has good sheep and they are thriving and growing, it gives Him the glory. When Jesus talks about Himself as the Good Shepherd, it magnifies His love and concern, the tenderness and mercy with which He will keep His own. And when we think about ourselves as His sheep and understand all He is and all He does and all the ways He provides, we can’t help but magnify Him, can’t help but praise Him. And surely He deserves our obedience in return.
Can we say with David, the great shepherd king, “The Lord is my shepherd”? The one who understood what it was to tend a flock on the hillside and to lead a nation at home and on the battlefield also understood what it was to submit to God, to seek Him and to give Him first place. May we also choose to submit to Him, to trust His infinite wisdom, to seek Him and His will, and to find our rest near to Him. When we do that, all the benefits of being part of His flock are ours in endless supply.