Week 4, 23rd Psalm
Who says, when asked what animal they would like to be or see themselves as, “I want to be a sheep.” I am not sure anyone, ever on the planet has had that response?
“I want to be a Lion!”
“I want to be a Tiger!”
“I want to be a Leopard!”
“I want to be a Bear!”
Some may even declare, “I want to be an Elephant or a Gorilla.”
However I doubt most of us would say, “I want to be a sheep!”
We may even stretch our imaginations far enough and want to be a cuddly, soft little lamb, but not a SHEEP!
Sheep are vulnerable, they need care and they are prone to stray. These are not the top 10 characteristics of ourselves that we would love to share, post or brag about.
The TRUTH is, they are however, the traits that we possess.
How can I say that with confidence? Because the One who knows us best, inside and out, down to our innermost parts, says it!
“All of us are like sheep who have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way…”
And when we do wander, forget our way, and get lost, what do we tend to do? Just like David the shepherd, we cry out to our Good Shepherd to come rescue us!
“I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.” Psalm 119:176
God knows us better than anyone. God knows us inside and out. He created us and he knows our tendencies. When we are hurting, when we are sad, when we are frightened, when we are confused and frustrated and do not know which way to turn, we are like sheep! God knew that what we needed was a GOOD SHEPHERD! And because He loves us so much, HE GAVE US ONE!
JESUS IS OUR GOOD SHEPHERD BECAUSE AND WE ARE HIS SHEEP!
There is no place for guilt in this! There is no place for shame in this! God did not tell us to be a lion, or a bear, or an elephant, or an alligator. God knows that we are sheep! And that is not a put down, it should give us comfort in knowing and understanding how God understands us!
And because He understands us and knows us like none other, He sent us not just a shepherd, but THE GOOD SHEPHERD!
Think about it?
What is your tendency when life gets tough? When it throws you for a loop or knocks you off your feet. Or even sometimes, flat on your back!
My go to is to become a lion! I don’t even think about it, it is just my natural tendency. I have done too many personality tests to count. And regardless of the labeling… Numbers, letters, or even animals, I come out as a lion!
Before you go into a thought process that this is in anyway bragging or a strength, it is not! Doubt it? Let me show you!
I have shared with you before that I am currently facing one of, if not the hardest life challenges I have ever faced. My mom has Alzheimer’s and grieving the loss of her through it and finding the best care for her has been nothing less than excruciating. My tendency to be the lion, to protect and rescue all those I love has landed me not just off my feet but flat on my face before our Good Shepherd!
Being the lion has brought feelings of failure, guilt and letting down those I love most of all. Only when I realized that I truly am a sheep and that I can cast my cares on my Good Shepherd, did I realize that only He can care for me and the other sheep that I love desperately!
He is our Good Shepherd!
I am valuable to the Good Shepherd! He sees me as worthy, so worthy that he will leave the ninety-nine to come after me!
Friends, there is nothing too horrible that we can do, and nothing too awful that we’ve done to keep the Good Shepherd from coming after us!
He will search high and low to find us. His desire is to bring us back to a place of security and safety!
The question is, do we want to be found?
Are you willing to be vulnerable enough to be a sheep?
Ask yourself that question and then pause for a moment.
Listen to your hearts answer.
Until we are vulnerable enough to be a sheep, we will not experience all that the Lord, the Good Shepherd, can be for us and wants to be for us!
Read 1 Peter 5:7
“Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.”
WHETHER YOU SEE YOURSELF AS A LION, TIGER OR BEAR, THE TRUTH IS WE ARE ALL SHEEP WHO NEED TO CAST OUR CARES ON OUR GOOD SHEPHERD!
We then need to act on 1 Peter and do what it says!
Number One: BELIEVE WHAT IT SAYS!
He cares for you!-Believe it!
He cares for you as an individual, not just part of a flock or group! -Believe it!
Number Two: DO WHAT IT SAYS!
If you are still trying to be the lion, the one that can handle it all, then you have not learned to be a sheep, trust the Good Shepherd, and give Him your cares!
Believe me, it takes practice. It is natural for us to want to be strong and take care of ourselves and others! But we must first humble ourselves and be like sheep. Realizing, that it is God‘s strength that makes us strong! He will make us lions when we need to be lions.
It does take practice. We can practice taking one care at a time and giving it to our Good Shepherd! See what He will do with it. You will be amazed!
Number Three: Pray It!
Speak it out loud or write it out! Send a prayer to your Good Shepherd speaking it out loud or writing it out. Ask Him to show you how He cares for you!
My friends, it is good to be a sheep, because we have a GOOD GOOD SHEPHERD!
He knows our needs, wants, desires, strengths and weaknesses, and He cares for us!
Speak Truth Love