Based on: Psalm 23
Where do you go to relax? Do you have a place where you go where all your needs are taken care of? Where you feel safe? Imagine for a moment that you are in such a place. Close your eyes if you want to. Imagine that you have plenty to eat and drink, no one can bother you, and that you can rest. It is a place of perfect peace. God has such a place for us. As our shepherd, God leads us to that place where we are safe and all our needs are met.
Let’s read Psalm 23.
For her, this Psalm was more than just words. She had some insight into the picture this Psalm paints for us. She lived on a farm and she knew what it was like to take care of animals – to make sure they had food and water and a warm place to sleep. Not only animals, but she also understood what it meant to provide a loving home for her children. Her care and concern extended to grandchildren and great-grandchildren and many others. You could see this love in all the knitting she did for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And if you saw the size of her garden you would think she had 20 children to feed, but her large garden made it possible for her to share much of it with others. No, she wouldn’t let you leave her house without food in one form or another.
She did these things as a way of sharing with others the love God had shown her. She saw God’s love pictured in Psalm 23. She treasured the peace and security she had knowing the Lord was her shepherd.
But why do we need a place of peace and security like the one described in psalm 23? Why are those words so comforting to us?
Just imagine life without the Lord as your shepherd. You would be left alone in both life and death. While you live on this earth you would wrestle with the question, "What is my relationship to God?" Of course, you could ignore God, and many people do, but ignoring God is never safe. That question about God becomes even more important at times like these when someone close to us dies. We are faced with the fact that we too will one day die and to die without the Lord as our shepherd would be horrible.
She knew that in order to have a good relationship with God you had to be perfect. But none of us are perfect. Yet God did not abandon us, but sent his son, Jesus Christ, into the world to live a perfect life for us and then to suffer God’s punishment for all the things that we’ve ever done wrong.
She knew that the Lord, her shepherd, rescued her from hell. Throughout her life she knew that the Lord was her shepherd and that her shepherd was protecting her from Satan and the world that wanted to separate her from her shepherd. This shepherd kept her well fed with his Word where he told her that he died for her and that a place in heaven was prepared for her. He led her to the living water where she could drink and never be thirsty.
Now that God has called her home, she is with her shepherd in perfect peace. She is with her Savior where all her needs are being met and nothing can harm her. One day all those who know that the Lord is their shepherd and know that he has made their relationship with God a good one – they will be in heaven with her and with Jesus, our Shepherd.