Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Shepherd's Rest

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  -- Psalm 23:1
I suppose this could be taken as a “prosperity” verse, and it is, in a way.  It’s something that might be said with regard to the Way in Taoism.  The Lord is there for us, with us, listening and responding as the shepherd looks after, is with, and attends to his sheep.  God interacts with us where we are, as we are.  He is Good -- this is certain, but our attitude may alter the character of His goodness.  Good to the straying lamb is the discipline that brings it back in line. 

We will lack nothing that we need, whether provision, favor, opportunity, strength, and wisdom – or weakness, loss, fear, confusion, and dead-ends.  Whatever is needed, whatever it is we lack to perfect us in Christ, this the Shepherd will provide. 

Even that makes it sound too much like an arrangement or a formula.  That’s not what it is.  It is a play of yielding and seeking, humility and trust that casts aside anxiety.  The Lord is my shepherd.  I follow Him, trust Him, knowing that it will never be given to me to figure out all that is or can be.  Yet, walking right here next to me is One who knows.  Even if He told me how it all is, I wouldn’t understand apart from an inkling in analogy, a hint from poetry. 

I can’t grasp it completely, but I can trust completely.  It is the secret of living in the peace of God; it is the rest of which Hebrews 4:3 speaks, “For we who have believed enter that rest …”.  All we need waits for us there.

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