A visit to a shepherd taught us about God.
What does it mean for God to be your shepherd? What does a shepherd do? Why would God’s people be compared to sheep? Research in books taught us a lot. But we needed more.
We found the sheep farm online and scheduled a visit with Keith Odom, a modern day shepherd in North Georgia. There is nothing like a road trip and soon we were on our way. What did we learn about sheep? Lots. But more important is what we learned about The Shepherd. (capital S!)
What captured our imaginations and hearts the most was “Bucket Time”. After Keith would feed the sheep he would take time to sit on the overturned feed bucket and watch the sheep. Some never realized he was there. Some ignored him. Others came looking for another bit of food. But some came, wanting to be with him. What perfect picture of God and our choice of interaction with Him.
It was moving to see how tenderly this man cared for his sheep. How he thought only of their wellbeing. Does God love us like that?
He made himself available to the sheep but never forced their affection. Does God wait for us, hoping that we will come to Him?
Keith rejoiced when the sheep came to him to nuzzle or be petted. He loved their gratitude. Does God rejoice when we remember to thank him for all that he does for us?
The answers that we discovered: Yes, yes, and yes.
Look at the responses of the sheep: Some never realized he was there. Some ignored him. Others came looking for another bit of food. Some came wanting to be with him.
Which response do you relate to in your spiritual journey? He’s waiting for you.
Betsy and Laurie
Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3
by Duffey Myers
Animal husbandry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Lord is my Shepherd. How are writers like sheep? What does is mean for a writer to pray these words of surrender. Join us in exploring what Psalm 23 means for writers and how to pray these powerful words. We’re posting today at the WordServe Water Cooler.
Betsy and Laurie
Join us at the Water Cooler to share and discuss how writers pray.
Image via Wikipedia
“How easy it is for there to be a fly in the ointment of even my most lofty spiritual experience! So often it is the small, petty annoyances that ruin my repose.” Phillip Keller, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23
It’s often the small things that are my undoing. I know to gather my strength and to pray for life’s large challenges but what about the petty annoyances that come every day, every hour and even every minute?
Phillip Keller wrote about the 23rd Psalm from a shepherd’s perspective. Particularly interesting to me was the act of “anointing with oil”. The shepherd would anoint the sheep’s head with oil for protection against annoying and dangerous gnats and flies.
Only the strictest attention to the behavior of the sheep can forestall the difficulties of “fly time”. At the very first sign of flies among the flock he will apply an antidote to their heads. I always preferred to use a homemade remedy composed of linseed oil sulfur, and tar, which was smeared over the sheep’s nose and head as a protection against nose flies.
Once the oil had been applied to the sheep’s head, there was an immediate change in behavior. Gone was the aggravation, gone the frenzy, gone the irritability, and the restlessness.
This, to me, is the exact picture of irritations in my own life. How easy it is for there to be a fly in the ointment of even my most lofty spiritual experience! So often it is the small, petty annoyances that ruin my repose.
Just as with the sheep, there must be a continuous and renewed application of oil to forestall the “flies” in my life; there must be a continuous anointing of God’s gracious Spirit to counteract the ever-present aggravations of personality conflicts. Phillip Keller
Keller adds a prayer that he prays when he encounters irritations:
“O Lord, I can’t cope with these petty, annoying, peevish problems. Please apply the oil of your Spirit to my mind. Both at the conscious and subconscious levels of my thought life enable me to act and react just as you would.”
I’m starting my day with this prayer.
Happy Writing, Writing Sisters
You anoint my head with oil. Psalm 23:5