GodReflection: Talking with God.
There he lay a withered old man his body near the grave as he grasped for life with labored breaths. Alcohol wrecked the organs that once provided him with vigor. Senhor Roque was a crippled physical and spiritual mess. His family desired desperately that he would come to know Jesus. He allowed me to read Scripture and pray in his cramped, dark, dingy, little room.
We began our acquaintance as I read this prayer:
The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; he keeps me alive. He guides me on proper paths for the sake of his good name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me. Your rod and your staff—they protect me.
You set a table for me right in front of my enemies. You bathe my head in oil; my cup is so full it spills over! Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house as long as I live. (Psalms 23: 1-6).
Tears begin to flow as God moved his heart. For the first time in his life, he listened to the prayer from the Shepherd. He heard the Shepherd call his name.
It should humble all of us to stop and imagine the imaginable number of people around our globe today who have not one time heard the shepherd’s prayer. Not only are they unaware of David’s story; many have yet to hear or to listen to his most important descendent—Jesus. He came to earth to be introduced by Holy Announcement as our good and Eternal Shepherd. For far too many he also remains unknown.
Over seven and a half decades ago, I was transported from the hospital nursery into the middle of a church fellowship, I wonder how many times this prayer has appeared in print before my eyes? How many times have I heard it read within listening distance of my ears, or sung those words from a hymnal held in my hands? Does it still affect me like it did when Senhor Roque heard it for the first time?
Back to Senhor Roque’s bedside. Within a week or two, the shepherd boy’s prayer to the Holy Shepherd took root in Senhor Roque’s Soul. He began to talk with The Shepherd. Strong men from the congregation helped transport him from his bed to the makeshift stone baptistry erected in one of the three rooms of our church building.
Seated in a chair Sr. Roque was lowered beneath the water and emerged a clean and pure saint. He was now a beloved lamb secure in the arms of the Good Shepherd ready to walk safely through the valley of death that was to confront him in just a few short days.
What would it take for us to respond anew as if it were our first invite by the Good Shepherd?
Yes, Jesus, you are my shepherd. I lack nothing. You provide all I need. I want to live with a calm and peaceful trust as you gift me with new life each morning. Help me to rest and relax in your embrace. Father, guide me each day in ways that my walk will be in step with your good name.
Even when I walk through the darkest times of life, I fear no danger because you are with me. Your hand provides safety, you protect me from Satan and the evil he sets before me.
You set a table before me full of your bounty and graced me with your presence right in front of any who might determine to make my path hard. Your care for me is superbly better than that of all my doctors; my cup filled with your blessings is so full it spills over! Yes, your goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house now and forever under the new heaven on your new earth.
In the Name of the Good Shepherd, Amen.
Why not talk with The Good Shepherd with words that flow directly from your own soul?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Let’s Talk with The Shepherd.
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