"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters." Psalms 23:1-2 (NRSV)
We know this Psalm by heart. It is most likely one of the first things we memorized in Sunday School. We also have experienced firsthand God's goodness. Our good shepherd provides us all that we need spiritually, physically, and emotionally purely from his love.
If the Lord is the shepherd, then that makes us sheep. And sometimes, we can be very obstinate sheep. A good sheep follows the master's voice, but we often ignore it. At times we get distracted by the pasture on the other side of the fence. That grass looks so much greener. Why is he making me lie down in this pasture? I don't want to lie down; I prefer to stand. By the way, I'm not too fond of the water in this pond either. Why must it be still? Despite the loving intentions of our shepherd, in defiance, we raise objections and opposition.
How patient our shepherd is with us. If this were any other shepherd, he would just let us go. But God leaves the ninety-nine and goes in search of the one. He is ever hopeful that we will respond to his voice and accept his grace.
God, we recognize you as our good shepherd, and we give you thanks for your unfailing love and care for us. We confess we are not always obedient sheep. Lord, forgive us and help us to listen to your voice and accept your freely offered goodness. Amen.