The Good Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing. — Psalm 23:1 (NIV)
Darlene lived across the street from me until I was five. She was just a bit older than I and an only child. I was the youngest of eight children. All anyone in my family did was boss me around.

That is precisely why I loved Darlene. She was my best friend, and I loved her with my whole heart. When I was four, Darlene started going to school. The elementary school was about half a block away. She was very afraid to go to school by herself. So I volunteered to walk her to school in the morning and go back in the afternoon and walk her home. Her mother gave me a nickel twice a day, one when I picked up Darlene and the other when I saw her safely home. I could have been rich except for one thing. There was this little store between our houses and the school.

On the way to and from the school, I bought five cents’ worth of penny candy, which was a whole bag. I had enough candy that year to protect myself from my brothers’ incessant teasing. I, who never had any power over them, now had all the power with nothing more than a little brown paper bag of sweets.

How often as a child of God I feel helpless, unarmed, and weak. I find myself looking for ammunition, appeasements, or armor to protect myself from the words or ways of others. Sometimes when I pray, I want to provide something that enables me to negotiate better terms with God. Then I remember I no longer need a little brown bag of anything to come to my defense. The Defender of my soul lives in me, to love me, provide for me, and protect me from anything that is not His perfect will for me.

— Mary Graham

Lord, even when I think I can do it alone, I come to the realization that You are the Lord and the Shepherd of Your people. I can rely on You alone. Amen.

* * *

Your Turn 

Think about God being the Good Shepherd, the Provider, the Defender of your soul. Why is it hard to rest in the fact that with God, we lack nothing? In what ways do you see the Lord directly providing for you today? Please share your thoughts in the comments section on our blog. We’d love your input. ~ Devotionals Daily

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