The Lord is My Shepherd

One of the most familiar phrases in all of scripture is the line, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”  It has been uttered on the battlefield through lips rehearsing what they remembered from their mother’s lap.  It has been read over the grave as a loved one is laid to rest.  It is memorized in the early years of Sunday school.  Somehow this song written by David brings even the unbeliever some sort of comfort.  Why does this image capture our hearts?

Whether we recognize it or not, we are a stubbornly, independent people.  We are raised with the image of the solitary, rugged individual hero, who can triumph in almost every situation.  We hold up the image of a super mom who can be all things to all people all of the time, buying organic, cooking gourmet, fashionably fit, tan, and cute at the end of the day.  But our heart longs for One who is higher than ourselves, and knows us better than we can even imagine.

This first verse tells me I belong.  I have someone who has chosen me, and has identified Himself as the responsible party.  Because David knew who he was for the sake of his sheep, He had a good grasp of what it would mean to be carried in the Great Shepherds’ arms.  Is this the reason he could say, “I shall not want”?  Because he knew his own heart concerning the well-being of his flock, could he grasp the nature of His Abba’s loving kindnesses?

If you find your heart longing for a greater Someone than yourself, in this hour, entrust yourself to the Lamb who leads you to the Shepherd who is willing to carry you.

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