“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” (Psalm 23:1)
What’s the life of a sheep like? In my first pastorate in Eden, Texas, one of the ranchers told me, “Sheep are born into the world looking for a place to die.” That statement has stuck to me like glue over the years and has shaped my thoughts when I read verses like this one.
In the United States, sheep are not herded like they do even today in the Middle East. In the states, sheep are often treated like their counterparts, the cows. Living their existence between barbed-wire fences, their territory is all laid out. Most of the time, they just wander freely over the acres provided by their keepers. In the Middle East, especially in biblical days, and often today, there is a closer, personal relationship between herder and animal. Leading them across arid plains to water and food, is the shepherd’s main task, not to mention flock security.
When the Psalmist writes, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing,” we have a difficult time understanding that because most of us have never seen that work out from our vehicles. This is a description of deep dependence and trust. While we often focus on what we presently lack, our vision needs to be centered on the Shepherd, the Great Shepherd of our souls. His provision is more than adequate; it’s abundant! Thank Him even now for His complete and caring provision…and then, just keep following Him!