Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.”
Genesis 48: 15, “God has been my shepherd all my life to this day.”
I taught elementary school for over 35 years. I mostly taught third grade because I loved that age. The children were old enough to be independent and still easily molded and influenced. They are still open to new discoveries and possibilities. I encouraged them to pursue their dreams and goals. I tried to encourage them to dream big and then do the necessary things to achieve those goals.
There are some students that I became very attached to. I did not want to release them to the next year’s teacher. I wanted to be involved in the decision where they were going the next year. Sometimes I was able to intervene and get them to the right teacher, and at other times I would have to settle for them going to a teacher that I was not too enthusiastic about them being assigned to.
I am positive that some of my students felt the same way. Many expressed that they didn’t want to leave me. They wanted me to go to the next grade level so that I would be their teacher again the next year. On the other hand, there were others that couldn’t wait to get out of my room. LOL.
Changing teachers and students are a part of school life. We may think: Is there any relationship that can go on forever. Can this person or that person stay with me forever; can this student or that one follow me into the next school year; can this person always be my boss?
I read a devotional in the Daily Bread on Saturday that go my writing juices churning. It was called “A Shepherd for Life.” I began to ponder upon it. And now I want to reflect further on that devotional.
Jacob, the patriarch the 12 tribes of Israel, found out there is one relationship that can last throughout one’s lifetime. Jacob lived through many interesting, critical life changing events such as: cheating his brother Esau out of his birthright; Jacob wound up having to serve not seven years for Rachel, but fourteen years, because her sister Leah was the oldest, and that was the custom in those days.
Jacob also suffered the absence or loss of his son, Joseph, fearing he was dead, but deviously sold into slavery but his own sons. Despite all of these losses, Jacob realized that there was one constant in his life. He prayed, “May the God… who has been my shepherd all my life to this day… bless these boys.” Genesis 48:15-16.
Jacob lived the life of a shepherd, so he was familiar with that lifestyle. He compared his relationship to God as that of a shepherd with his sheep. From the time a sheep is born through its growth to old age, the shepherd cares for it day and night. He guides it during the day and protects it from the physical elements during the night. The shepherd keeps it away, from dangerous animals.
David, also a shepherd, had the same understanding and relationship with his sheep and his God. David said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Gen 23:1. And at the end of that psalm, he said, “And I will dwell in the house of the Lord, forever. Genesis 23:6. David was rejoicing and lauding the fact that he was in this relationship with the Lord, which would last forever.
Changing teachers, preachers, employers, government officials, is the norm and not likely to be done away with. But it is good to know that there is one who will “Never leave us or forsake us.” This Shepherd has promised to be with us every day of our earthly existence. And when life down here is over, He has an eternal home already prepared for us in heaven, to take us too
Lord, I thank you that you are the shepherd of my soul. I thank you that you never slumber, nor do you sleep. Your ever watchful eye is always upon me. I thank you for providing everything I need for godliness and my physical needs. Thank you for being with me in the midst of my problems, trials, and misunderstandings. Your unfailing love is a gift and I could never repay you for your demonstration of so great a salvation. Thank you for being a faithful shepherd and friend.
Enjoy this beautiful Monday and: Don't forget to say your prayers.