As I’ve reflected on Psalm 23 over the last few weeks I’ve been particularly struck by the shepherd imagery. It brings to mind one who cares for, protects and nurtures his sheep. And when the Lord is our shepherd everything we need is provided for.
As the psalm says, we lack nothing. This gentle, nurturing picture continues in verses 2-3 as the shepherd gives the sheep rest in green pastures and cares for their needs beside quiet waters. The shepherd guides and directs the sheep, leading them on the right paths. Then in verse 4 the shepherd protects, comforts and directs the sheep through the darkest valleys. Even in the darkest of days our Lord, and Shepherd, is there with us.
There’s a real intimacy in these verses. When I read them I’m struck again by how blessed we are to have Jesus as our Good Shepherd who is with his sheep through all of life’s ups and downs, guiding, protecting, caring and nurturing us.