The Lord Is My Shepherd

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Psalm 23:1-6

Psalm 23 speaks to my heart—green pastures, quiet waters, right paths. I am an outdoorsy person by nature. I’d much rather get lost in the woods, alone with my thoughts, the trees, and the breeze, than be in any city. So, as I read these familiar verses, I want to go outside, to be witness to the goodness and beauty of the natural world. It also occurs to me that I have something in common with sheep—we can both get lost without hardly trying.

Some years ago, I read about a Merino sheep in New Zealand named Shrek. He had wandered away from his flock and his shepherd and gotten lost. For six years, he lived in nearby caves, eating what he could find and avoiding the shearer’s blade. When Shrek was finally found, his wool weighed sixty pounds, and the raw weight of twenty men’s suits on his back was threatening his life. He had trouble walking, and his breathing was labored. He needed his shepherd. So do we.

Shepherds take care of sheep—plural—but in this psalm, the relationship is between one sheep and his Shepherd. It’s personal, much more intimate. “The LORD is my shepherd” (v.1, emphasis mine). These words are from David, but I can’t help but read them as my own. I think we were meant to, each one of us. The Lord is my Shepherd. He guides me, provides for me, protects me from my enemies.

I don’t need to worry. “I have what I need” (v.1). I don’t need to struggle or strive. “He lets me lie down in green pastures” (v.2). Weariness does not have the final say. “He renews my life.” And I won’t ever get lost. (Not really, anyway.) “He leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake” (v.3). It is only because the Shepherd is so good that I can be still and rest, that I can have true peace.

I could be happy for eternity being a beloved lamb of the Good Shepherd, but Psalm 23 doesn’t leave us as sheep. A shift occurs in verse 5. David begins to address God directly—the song becomes a prayer of thanksgiving. Not only that, but the pastoral imagery is replaced by a banquet scene. You and I have become honored guests of the King.

The table is set, and though my enemies might rage just outside, none of that matters (v.5). I am in the house of my Maker, the One who knows me and loves me better than anyone else. But the best part? I’m not just a guest. I get to stay in His presence forever—”as long as I live” (v.6), though the Hebrew phrase that’s been translated doesn’t limit this time to my natural lifespan. It has all come full circle—”I have what I need,” because I have the One I was created to know and love.

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1,004 thoughts on "The Lord Is My Shepherd"

  1. Kyra Madore says:

    It’s nice to know that God will always be there even when we wander

  2. Addie Sampson says:

    I enjoyed reading this , it’s a great reminder that he’s our “ shepherd “ for a reason and how much we need him .

  3. Mary Katherine Grimes says:

    I wrote in my notes that I need to take more time to just sit and marvel at the truth that I Dewey with God forever. My now and future is secure in my loving Savior. This truth is dripping with hope and a safety I have been craving for my whole life. I over look this truth way to often… May I never lose the wonder of what my God has done for me.

  4. Chelsea Wilson says:

    I can rest knowing the Lord is caring for me better than anyone else could! Thank you Lord!

  5. Emanuela Delhomme says:

    Also read John 10 which goes more into detail about the Lord (Jesus) being our shepherd. ❤️

  6. Kelsey Shelton says:

    A wonderful reminder that there is no need to strive – we already have everything we need, we are well taken care of and very loved.

  7. Gaby Pineda says:

    The reminder I needed. I have rest in Him, I don’t have to worry about what lies ahead.

  8. Lindsay Hill says:

    I was reminded of parents who have many kids, but each kid has a special bond with their parent, and how each sheep has a special bond with their shepherd.