I like blankets. When I was little they were my comfort, with their fuzzy middles and their silky edges. They wrapped me up when I needed to feel safe, and warmed my toes and arms on winter nights. My mom knew that when I was sad, I needed a hug and my hole-y blue blanket, ragged and worn, so I could love it to literal pieces.
What speaks comfort into your life? What physical manifestation of God’s warmth and goodness has He blessed you with in this life? God encourages us to fix our eyes on the eternal, but He leaves us with the temporal as a bonus, small reminders that He is good. He is our comfort on cold days and in the dark of night.
God, throughout Scripture gives us a vision of comfort in the language of Good Shepherd. The Shepherd who consistently gathers His sheep. Please open to Isaiah 40:10-11 or read below –
10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.
He comes with might, but listen to the tenderness of it all. God is so fantastically perfect that He is complete in a way we cannot fathom. This mighty God, this powerful Shepherd goes out to defeat the wolves of this world, to defeat the devil who destroys… He also holds you in His arms. He gathers every part of you to Him and will never let you go. He gathers His people to His chest and loves, loves, loves, and loves some more. What a God we have!
How many of you would list Psalm 23 as a verse on your comfort list? Clearly I would! I named my blog after it. 😉
Let’s read it together today.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
He restores. He overflows. He walks with me. He pursues me with mercy. He provides for me. He gathers me around the table and He eats with me.
Let’s widen it a bit. Let’s think about gather in its fullest sense.
He restores us.
He overflows into us.
He walks with us.
He pursues us.
He provides for us.
He gathers us around the table. He eats with us.
We were made for gathering. We were born into a flock. We experience the fullness of Him within the gathering of His people.
I Love My Shepherd is about We Love Our Shepherd
…stretching my heart for my husband, Christ, and His Church. We are the comfort, dear friends, for our husbands, and those in our homes, in our churches, and in our lives. We speak Jesus into one another’s life in a way we wouldn’t experience walking this earth on our own.
Let’s pray Psalm 23 today for our own needs, but also for one another. Let’s thank our Shepherd for just being Himself in all His wonderfulness as well as giving us this life to live together.
So, here’s how this is going to go. Read Psalm 23 through 3 times.
Read through #1 – focus on who God is, as our Shepherd. When you read the Psalm, what do you learn about Him? Spend time in prayer proclaiming His character, such as provider, comforter, leader, etc.
Read through #2 – focus on what our Shepherd does for you as an individual. How has He brought His work proclaimed in Psalm 23 to bear in your real life? Where have you seen Him shepherd? Where have you seen Him lead? What do you need Him to walk with you through?
Read through #3 – focus on what our Shepherd does for His people or for other people in your life. Pray the psalm over anyone in need or ask for God’s provision, comfort, overflow into individuals and/or your church.
We are gathered, sheep into our Shepherd, sheep into the sheepfold. Loved on, cared for, mightily rescued, guided, filled to the brim with overflowing.
I love my shepherd. And I know you do too.
Share some of your prayer insights from Psalm 23 with us, fill in the requests you feel comfortable sharing for each prayer round or share some that stick out to you overall.
Round 1 – Who God is as our Shepherd…
Round 2 – What God does for you, as an individual…
Round 3 – What God does for His people, or the people in your life…