In Scouting the Divine by Margaret Feinberg (www.margaretfeinberg.com/), the second session records a current-day shepherdess and the relationship with one of her ill sheep—summoning a vet, administering medicine, concern, and compassion. The love and devotion of the shepherdess brought tears to my eyes as I pictured God’s tender care as The Great Shepherd.
I think of friends who battled devastating diseases—the e-mails and quiet conversations discussing the horrors of illness, the agony at the thought of leaving their young children motherless, and yet the awestruck amazement that in their darkest moments they felt the presence of God.
We are all like sheep. Some walk close to the Shepherd and hang on His every word. Others roam the pasture not quite sure where they fit in the fold. Many stay outside God’s care, not truly believing He is trustworthy or He will somehow keep them from experiencing all they desire. And within all of them is a hunger to be known and loved.
Whether you choose to be in God’s fold, there are wolves in the world, storms will come, rivers are swift, and fires sweep over the open range. For those who follow God, The Great Shepherd will guide through any dark valley. No wolf can snatch you from His care.
God will gather you in His arms and hold you close to His heart. He will keep your head afloat when you pass through raging rivers. In the fires He will shield you from the flames. And when death comes, He’ll guide you home, where you will be forever safe in His presence.
(Psalm 23:4, Isaiah 43:2, Isaiah 40:11, John 10:27-29)