God, our Great Shepherd

Psalm 23 has been running through my head. The traditional melody is beautiful and catchy (it's got a great beat and I can really dance to it), which helps me remember it. This Psalm has also sparked some inadvertent meditation.

The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me besid the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For you are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD

There's so much richess and depth to this. Perhaps my brain can be like a sheep's stomach and I can ruminate on this for days on end. That's why ruminant animals have four stomachs, because they get so much more nutrients from the plants they graze on through their long digestive process.

This morning I was thinking in general terms of God, our Great Shepherd. Sometimes the pastures that I'm in seem much less attractive and fun and safe than those of my fellow sheep. It's easy to doubt his goodness and plan for provisions--especially when my focus is on what my other sheep friends are doing, instead of my Great Shepherd.

My prayer for myself and all of you is that our focus would be on Him, our contentment and joy would be in him, that we would frolic and feed in whatever pastures we're in, and that his Goodness and Mercy (like two sheepdogs, keeping us unruly sheep in line) would follow us all the days of our life.

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