The Good Shepherd
Category : Glenda's Soap Box
(Image is an original copyrighted painting by Beverly Dycus, www.bbdycus.com – used for this blog post with permission.)
Lord, You are the door of the sheep. We enter Your sheepfold as individuals through You, the only door. As we do, we find a place of safety. Why? Because You are the Good Shepherd. Why do You call Yourself that? Because of how You care for those of us sheep that belong to You. You love us more than we can comprehend.
Some sheep are not as blessed as we are. Some shepherds don’t care for their sheep. They tend sheep, they don’t love them. Not so, You, O Good and Kind Shepherd! You are called the Good Shepherd because You lay down Your life for the sheep. A hireling shepherd would never do that. You have already laid down Your life for the rescue, the protection and the healing of each of your sheep. Your love is fierce and tenacious!
O, how You love Your sheep, and O, how we love You. Even the ones that wander off looking for greener pastures, their eyes turned toward what they want. You love them just as much as those sheep that are smart enough to stay close to Your side.
Every one of Your sheep are completely known by You. You have tenderly inspected us so many times. We are not just one of many to You, but each one has an identity and as much of your heart as all of Your other sheep do also. You love us all the same.
You are the Good Shepherd because when a sheep that belongs to You wanders away from You, You pursue them. You know how many wolves there are out there just waiting for a sheep to innocently wander off and becoming separated from their fold. To have almost all Your sheep is never enough for You. You don’t want to lose even one. The loss of one is too many because You know and love each one, and You are not satisfied with having most of them. Each has eternal significance to You.
You are the Good Shepherd because You will leave the majority of Your sheep to go and look for the one that is missing. Your Shepherd’s heart knows that particular sheep personally and none of your other sheep can take its place. Your love drives You to pursue the missing ones and find them all. You will look until You find them and carry them back to the fold in Your strong, loving arms.
You know Your sheep and they know You. We know Your voice, and we follow You. You call us each by name. Your voice and Your touch comforts us like nothing else. When we are hurting and injured, you bind our wounds and heal them. If we cannot walk You carry us on Your shoulders. Any sheep that has been carried in that way, will never, ever wander because they know what it is like to be so close to You that they can heart Your heartbeat of love for them. They are forever changed by that experience.
What joy it is to be one of yours, O sweetest of Shepherds! We delight to belong to You. Come and be near us, and take tender care of us, as only You can. We love you.