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Jesus, Our Shepherd

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

There he was, lying flat on his back. This one sheep among the large flock of sheep I had been observing caught my attention. He had fallen down. His legs, thrashing about in the empty space of air above him, called attention to his plight, unable to set himself upright on those feet! The other sheep, heads down, kept on foraging for themselves. He could only hope his shepherd would eventually notice and rescue him. That was his only source of hope!

How like that stranded sheep we can be! Our own efforts alone usually cannot set us straight. Unable to move and progress on our daily paths of life without help, we must call out and rely on the only One who can save us!

Just as sheep know their shepherd's voice, I, too long to hear and respond to the Shepherd of my soul.

    "In my distress I cried to the LORD, and He heard me." (Psalm 120:1)

    "I will lift up my eyes to the hills-from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber." (Psalm 121:1-3)

What great promises we are given!
    "You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God." Says the Lord God. (Ezekiel 34:31)

    "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand." (John 10:27, 28)

    "For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." (1 Peter 2:25)

Visualizing a sheep on his back unable to get up, is a great illustration of just how vulnerable we can be especially in situations where we are virtually helpless. Within David's well-known Psalm 23 the Holy Spirit reaches in today and speaks to us of the promises and encouragement we find by trusting in Jesus as our Shepherd, Lord and Savior.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life; and I will dwell
in the house of the LORD forever.”

(Psalm 23:6)


Recognize your weaknesses
and come before Me.
Only I can turn you around,
like the sheep who has
fallen on his back
and cannot right himself
without My help.
I keep My eye on you,
for I know your failings.
When you cease your flailings
about and trust yourself into My hands,
then you can say of Me,
“The Lord is my Shepherd.”
All anxieties will flee
and you will dwell in My house
with goodness and mercy forever.

© Constance Vanides

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© Constance Vanides