leaving my patch of green

Psalm 23 explored

I am a little lamb snugly settled in my corner of the globe.  
I see the world all around me- other sheep, the hills and valleys,
the dangerous places, the grass, the streams.

But there is something I cannot see with my eyes.
No, never a visible glimpse or a physical touch, 
Yet, he is here with me- real as real can be.
My Shepherd. The LORD. Yahweh.
The Creator of  the entire world
that lies beyond my patch of grass
which is so familiar and comfortable for me. 
Because I have this shepherd, the Good Shepherd, 
I don’t need anything
because he has provided everything I need.
My care, my health, my food, my safety,
shelter, guidance, his wisdom,
his kindness and compassion, his love and mercy,
his commitment to me
I don’t need to go wandering about- looking for these things.
I can choose to develop deep contentment in the truth about him-
he is watching over me, scaring away the danger,
helping me get unstuck,
placing me exactly where I need to be each day.
I can know he has a plan and a purpose
and that he will walk me through all of it-
which will include shearing, getting rid of pests, giving birth,
hot days, cold nights, shadows, bleating, confusion.
So that is where I begin- I have a Good Shepherd.
And though I can’t see or touch him, he is with me. Constantly.
Sometimes he makes me stop and rest, to lie down and be still.
To take a break and breathe and notice.

I can stop and not fret or run around getting into trouble or getting lost.Other times he takes me to a quiet stream- a perfect place to stop and drink water in safety,  a basic need for survival.
And in these green pastures and by these quiet waters,
he restores me, refreshes me, I get back into sync

Ready for whatever is next in following him.

He guides me- going ahead of me- showing the path I am to take,
and they are good and right paths that belong to him.
They don’t lead me into trouble.

He does this for his own name.  

As his sheep I am associated with and belong to him and carry his name,
so how he guides me reflects back on who he is.
It is not all joy and bliss and sunshine-y days.
Yes, even though I walk into a valley, a deep ravine,
a place full of shadows and death, pain, disappointment, confusion, sadness-

I don’t have to be afraid, and only because he,
the Good Shepherd, is with me and walking me through
his passageway from one point to another.
You have your rod, Good Shepherd 
and can fling it at a predator.
You have your long staff to nudge me and the crook to
extricate me from the tangled distracting places to which I gravitate

I am comforted in your provision for me.

You also prepare a meal for me in a place that my enemies can see me.
I am being watched by others.
You anoint me with oil- a special blessing of honor poured on me.

My heart is full to overflowing
because of your generosity and your full knowledge of me,
your constant presence even in those dark or distracting times.

I know for sure that as I continue
Your goodness is here for me
and your love is here for me
Day of my life.

And the day will come when my soul leaves these earthly pastures and I will go to stay with you in your house- the place of  My Good Shepherd

Forever. Yes. For all time.  

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