“He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
It is very important for sheep to have a shepherd. They are believed to have no sense of direction. Left alone they easily become lost, wandering off in all directions to where they could be hurt or killed. One of Jesus’ best known stories is the parable of the lost sheep and the shepherd who seeks for it until he finds it and brings it safely home again. In calling Himself the Good Shepherd He also refers to us as His sheep, indicating that we too are inclined to wander thoughtlessly away!
As the sheep in Palestine knew their shepherd’s voice and followed him so we are called to come to the Lord and to follow Him. He alone knows the right paths for us both generally and in every situation in which we might find ourselves. And He is always there to lead us forwards. Because we follow Him it means that He will have travelled these paths ahead of us. He will know the challenges, the resting places and the destinations along the way.
Not only does Jesus know the correct way forward for us but He also knows the right way for us to travel that road. As we go with Him we discover that He is both the Way in terms of direction and the Way in terms of the attitudes, values and strengths that are needed for the journey.
One of His great calls was for the weary to come to Him and take His yoke upon themselves. In this way, joined to Him, He would set the pace and direction and shoulder the greater share of the load.
Ask Him for help – and stay close to Him through the day!
It’s me Lord! I feel lost, lonely and afraid. Please find me and rescue me. Please forgive me and cleanse me. Please lead me forward from where and how I am to where and how You want me to be. Amen.