I am totally dependent on my shepherd.
We Americans don’t like to be dependent on anything. That’s how we started out. We fought a war becausewe couldn’t stand to be under someone else. The last thing that I want to admit is that I need help, in any areaof life. I don’t want to have to rely on anyone for anything.But the Lord is my shepherd. If that really is true for me, then I have to deal with my pride and stop trying toportray myself as able to handle whatever comes along. I’m fooling myself. I’m a sheep and there is so much inlife that I don’t have the ability to handle. I’m helpless in many situations. Just like a sheep, I need someone totake care of me. I can’t do it on my own. That’s hard for me to even realize, let alone admit. The Lord is myshepherd. I’m totally dependent on him.
I am owned by my shepherd.
Sheep aren’t the masters of their domain. They are owned by their shepherd. The shepherd leads them towhere he wants them to go. The sheep don’t get a choice, they don’t make decisions for themselves. As muchas I’d like to convince myself that I’m running the show, it’s not true. The Lord is my shepherd. He is my owner and master.
I have a personal relationship with my shepherd.
The Lord is MY shepherd. Unlike a real sheep, It’s my decision whether I’m going to be His sheep. It’s apersonal relationship. Just because you’re born a sheep doesn’t mean you have a shepherd. It doesn’t meanyou have the Lord as your shepherd. You have to come into the flock. The Lord is my shepherd, It’s apersonal, loving relationship.
He is My Provider
My Shepherd takes care of my needs. I used to think
“I shall not want”
meant something like “shut up andbe happy with what you have” But, that’s not what it means. It means that he provides everything that I ever need. I’ve never had a need that he hasn’t met! David said elsewhere in Psalms 34
“Even young lionssometimes lack food and are hungry, but those who seek the L
lack no good thing.”
(Psa 34:10) I’m taken care of perfectly. I’m lacking for nothing. Even more to the point: HE is all I need. You couldparaphrase it as: I have the Lord as my shepherd. What else could I want? He takes care of my needs. Hegives me lush, green pastures to feed from. He provides cool, calm waters from which to drink.
He Provides Rest
He causes me to lie down in green pastures. Green pastures are where sheep eat, but that’s not the endof the story. After a sheep gets his belly full, he’ll lie down and chew his cud. It’s a part of the digestionprocess. You see, the eating part, I have a handle on. I’m thankful that the shepherd led me to the greenpastures where I can eat. But, when it comes to fulfilling my appetite, I’m pretty good at that. I canindulge myself fine, thank you. But, like those dumb sheep, I get all wrapped up in consumption.I need to remember that life is more than eating, consuming, and fulfilling my appetites. We need to restand that’s not something that all of us are good at. In this culture especially, rest is a luxury. We’re notgood at it. But, it’s a necessity. We all need to have time to rest, meditate, and recharge. The shepherdis there to remind me… to make me lie down.The “still waters” speaks of rest also. But they also give us another glimpse into how well the shepherdtakes care of us. A sheep needs water to survive the wilderness. One of the shepherd’s main tasks is tofind water. He knows where all the watering holes are located and he maps out the route going betweenone source of water to the other. Some are just that - “water holes” where muddy, brackish water is allthat’s found. It will keep the sheep alive, but it’s not refreshing. Some locations are fast-running rivers.