“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” (Psalms 23: 1-2)
What a tender and wonderful assurance this is! This familiar poem seems to have such an immediate calming affect when we turn to it in times of need. The idea that we are sheep and that God, loving good, is our Shepherd, is a metaphor that is so peaceful and right. Jesus thought so, too, and drew upon the idea of the sheep and its shepherding Father-Mother often as we read in the gospels. This was a familiar picture for many of his followers who may have tended sheep themselves, but it is one that seems to resonate with anyone.
Sheep are innocent. Don’t we all want to be seen that way? The shepherd takes care of each of those little ones without judgment but with a real necessity to keep track of all and make sure each is well fed, sheltered, and healthy. The best shepherds don’t let the sheep run wild or go astray when there might be danger to them or a threat to their well-being. The shepherd watches and guides–diligently, faithfully.
Our Shepherd, God, cares for us with such a firm gentleness. He maketh us to lie down in green pastures. There isn’t a choice here. He requires that we rest when needed and that we rest where it is green, lush and lovely, where there is sustenance in food as well as in beauty and comfort.
Neither does this Shepherd lead us to rushing waters where we can’t easily drink or might lose our balance and get carried away. God leads us to all that is clearly good and natural and sustaining. And He makes us do what is best for us, for this Shepherd can see with His broader perspective the full and flourishing fields of our lives.
This is today’s e-inspire. These messages are based on passages from the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy. These books are our “pastor” in Christian Science. Come back every Tuesday and Thursday for fresh inspiration. Or get a free subscription to receive an inspirational message like this one every morning directly to your inbox by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org. A downloadable compilation of categorized messages is also available by request.