The Good Shepherd

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11 (NIV)

Sitting in church that Sunday, I listened intently as the pastor spoke about how to handle stressful situations. It seemed he knew what I was going through and was speaking directly into my difficult situation. I wondered if someone had tipped him off. As he spoke, his words pierced my very soul.

But then I reminded myself that since I was visiting his church that week for the first time, there was no possible way he could be privy to the circumstances I had endured the previous week. I knew his message had to be straight from God. The Good Shepherd had placed me in that church, on that Sunday, with that pastor—knowing I’d need this specific message from his Word.

Later, as I was thinking about the strange “coincidence” at church that week, I was reminded of numerous other circumstances where similar things had happened in my life. Sometimes a friend just “happened” to say exactly what I needed to hear. Other times I heard a song on the radio that seemed to minister to the trial of that day. And yes, several times I heard sermons that spoke to my exact situation at a time when I needed direction from the Lord.

These “coincidences” shouldn’t surprise us, after all, our Lord is called the Good Shepherd. You see, the Bible compares us to sheep—sheep who have gone their own way and often get lost and are in need of rescue.

That’s where the Good Shepherd steps in. His role is to lead us and guide us in the way we ought to walk. He gently brings us back to the fold. I’m so thankful for the way God leads us, as a Good Shepherd who cares for his sheep.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8 (NIV)

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