The Lord is my Shepherd
I have all that I need
The Good Shepherd
The word for shepherd used in this verse is the Hebrew word, ro-eh for tending a flock. The Greek word is poimēn. The grammatical extension of the Hebrew word, as listed in Strong’s Dictionary, is “to associate with as a friend.”
The marginal notes refer to John 10:11 – I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Following up on that, Jesus also tells us,
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
Which is exactly what this Good Shepherd did.
In other New Testament Scripture using the Greek word poimēn, shepherds are described as having compassion (Matthew 9:36, Mark 6:34), gathering their sheep (John 10:4, 16), keeping watch over and guarding their sheep (Luke 2:8, 1 Peter 2:25), and proclaiming the glory of God (Luke 2:18, 20).
The prophet Ezekiel, using the term “shepherd,” told us just what Jesus would accomplish during his life:
For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day.” 34:11-12
“I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down,” declares the Sovereign Lord. “I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.” 34:15-16
I was nothing if not a lost and broken sheep. Yet somehow, He called me from the dark, and I came to Him. It was a slow process. I clung to old habits, to control, to fear and self judgment. For a long time, I remained convinced that I was not worthy to step over that threshold. But I could hear love call. I could hear peace call. It was a stronger, more compelling voice than my own.
I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:14, 27
I have all that I need
My prayers and attitude in my prayers have changed significantly over the last several years. I started out my believer’s life praying for things. I prayed for jobs and money and explanations. I prayed for healing from cancer, and help with identity theft and discernment with decisions.
Are all those legitimate thing for which to pray? Of course. Did God answer my prayers? Yes, He did. But not always in the way I thought they would be answered.
You ask and do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:3
Over the years, I began to see that my small prayer life centered around me and my desires rather than God and His will. While God answered my small prayers, I saw that He had bigger plans for me. If I was willing to step out of my plans and into God’s plans, if I was willing to shed my tiny viewfinder of wants, I could see that God had a panorama of needs He wanted to fill through me.
Let me say that again in a slightly different way. If I am willing to remove my own lens, I can see through God’s eyes. As a result, He can work through me.
Jesus saw everything through our Father’s eyes. Our Father provided for all Jesus’ needs. Just as Jesus fed the 5,000 and the 4,000 after that, the Father provided food for Jesus, provided shelter and clothing. Jesus, while human, could have seen through human eyes, but chose to remain fixed on his Father’s view. He could have saved himself, but instead chose to save us all.
Now, as I meet with Him every morning over coffee, my Bible and my prayer journal, I thank Him for being my Shepherd, for calling me when I was still lost and broken, and for providing for my needs.
I thank Him for birds that sing His praises and His delight of me. I thank Him for a new day and new mercies.
I pray for guidance. I pray for wisdom. I pray for His love to grow in my heart. I pray for the Spirit to help me practice and embody His fruit. I pray for others. I pray to remember Jesus’ words, and to understand His intent. I pray for God to search my heart and help me to obey.
I pray to see through His eyes.