Last night I had a difficult and restless night, waking up often to a darkness that was darker than the darkness of the room. I felt like I was wrestling more than the blankets and sheets that wanted to tangle themselves around me. I felt small and inferior to the tasks that I have a difficult time keeping up with... I cried out "Oh....Jesus..." and a verse came to mind:
Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
See also my other Psalm 23 posting
Two things gave comfort –
The Shepherd’s rod: The rod which the Shepherd carried was for protecting the sheep from predators. It was never used on the sheep. (Whew!) Do we not gain comfort from the fact that it is Almighty God who is our Shepherd! No robber, predator or enemy ever takes Him by surprise!
The Shepherd’s staff: The staff was used by the Shepherd to direct the sheep in the way in which they should go, and, in the case of a wandering nosey sheep, to pull it back into line. Again, there is comfort in the fact that God directs us and even discipline from the Lord (pulling us back into line!) can be seen as comforting for it is a sign that He loves us scripture says (Heb 12:6)( Link to the above)
Here are some sheep and shepherding facts that are helpful in understanding our relationship to our Good Shepherd:
The Good Shepherd Cares for His Sheep (us)