by Rev Jason Phua
Bible Reading: Romans 13:1-14; Psalm 23:1-6
READ (Verses chosen for reflection)
Psalm 23:3 “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
With the Lord as our Shepherd, our souls are able to be restored and we can be led in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. The problem is not whether we recognise the Lord as our Shepherd, but whether we want to go to Him even though we know that He is our Shepherd. Even when our souls are wretched from committing sin again and again, suffering near burn-out from work or wandering away in unbelief; we can be so hard-hearted as to hold on to our position and not want to go to the Shepherd.
I spoke with a group of Life Group Leaders today on the idea of shepherding. Unlike what is portrayed in some movies (green grass, blue sky, docile lamb), shepherding is probably one of the toughest job in the world. A shepherd needs to learn how to work tirelessly under harsh conditions; cope with the possible loss of sheep to wolves, diseases or hypothermia; and going after sheep that would wander off or escape despite the best precautions. An experienced shepherd said that a person would need at least 40 years to complete apprenticeship in order to be recognised as a “true shepherd of the flock”.
In some ways, shepherding God’s people is similar to shepherding sheep in the mountains. It is hard work and takes a lot of emotional strength and patience. More importantly it requires a heart of humility to seek God. No matter if we are the shepherds of God’s flock in the family, church or workplace, we need to learn to go to the Chief Shepherd regularly. This is because He is able to restore our souls and lead us in paths of righteousness.
Chief Shepherd, may You help us, as Your under shepherds, to cultivate a heart of humility and surrender to go to you regularly for sustenance and spiritual nourishment. This is so we can journey well with those You have entrusted to our care. Amen.