Of Sheep and Shepherds
–Delana H. Stewart
Have trouble letting go and trusting God with your children? I do! Sitting down on a friend’s back porch with a cup of tea recently, I opened my Bible and read the Twenty-third Psalm. This very familiar Psalm has guided and comforted me many times through the years.This particular day it took on a whole new dimension!
“The Lord is my Shepherd” is of course a very familiar Psalm. But, this time after reading it, the Spirit prompted me at the end of the reading to re-read it placing the name of one of my adult children in place of first person. So, I read through it with his name. That was powerful!
At the end of reading it with my son’s name, the Spirit asked of my spirit,
“Do you really believe this? Do you really believe that I can shepherd him and that he will lack nothing? Do you really believe that I will lead him in green pastures and beside quiet waters? Do you really believe that I will renew his life? Do you really believe that I am leading him along the right paths for My name’s sake? Do you really believe that I am with him when he goes through dark valleys…and that I will comfort him? Do you really believe that only goodness and faithful love will pursue him?”
Not I . . . but Him!
A knot caught in my throat and tears came to my eyes. Throughout my kids’ growing up years, as a mother, I have shepherded them. I have directed their steps. I have comforted them. And now I must trust the Good Shepherd to do and be all those things in their lives (even when the way seems dark and hard).
I then read through Psalm 23 over and over again, each time placing one of my kid’s names (and my daughter-in-law’s name) in place of first person.
I shepherded them . . . for a time . . . and now I must let go and let God Shepherd them.
I challenge you to trust God with the loved ones in your lives (children, parents, spouses, siblings, friends). If you read this today with someone’s name in place of first person, leave a comment. You don’t have to say who you prayed/read for. You don’t have to say how it made you feel. Just simply say “I did it!”
Psalm 23 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
The Good Shepherd. A Davidic psalm.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.
2 He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths[a] for His name’s sake.
4 Even when I go through the darkest valley,[b] I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff[c]—they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in[d] the house of the Lord as long as I live.[e]
Carved on my heart (a reminder to believers that God is carving out His plan on our hearts)
Rest in the Hand (a poem and devotional reminding us that we can rest in His hand)
99 and 1 (a short reminder of Luke 15:1)