The Lord is My Shepherd
I remember memorizing psalm 23. I was just getting into Bible study about 12 or 13 years ago. I knew John 3:16 and I knew Genesis 1:1…that was pretty much it. I asked my mom if she had any Bible verses committed to memory. She rattled off some verses but then said “I know all of psalm 23. I learned it at Bible school when I was little.” She then began to quote psalm 23. I thought it was one of the coolest things I had ever heard. I immediately went to Psalm 23 in my Bible and read it over and over again. In about a week, I had committed it to my own memory.
It was years after I memorized Psalm 23 before I realized that to call the Lord “my Shepherd” was to call myself a sheep. I learned that sheep are possibly the dumbest animals in the world. I read of a shepherd in Canada that lost over 100 sheep when he went away and hired a substitute who didn’t watch after the flock like he would have himself. A sheep had wandered too close to the edge of a cliff and fell to its own death. Other sheep became curious as to what happened to the sheep, went to the edge of the cliff themselves, and fell to their own deaths. This happened to over 100 sheep before the substitute shepherd realized what was happening.
What a picture of my life…especially as a young Christian. I wanted to follow the Lord, I just didn’t want to deny myself and stay close to the Shepherd. I wanted to do the things that I wanted to do and wanted all the benefits of a person that followed the Lord with his whole heart. When you do that, or at least when I did, it made me quite miserable. I had too much of the world in me to be happy in God, and I had too much God in me to be happy in the world. I feel sometimes like I was that 120th or whatever number sheep that was about to walk over the cliff. Fortunately, for me, the Good Shepherd made it just in time to keep me from walking over that cliff. He saved me. He loved me too much to let me destroy myself.
When I realized I was a half-way in Christian, I knew it was time to choose who I was going to serve. I could not continue to walk towards the cliff on Monday thorough Saturday, then walk toward the Shepherd on Sunday. It was after I went to a revival meeting on a Sunday through Thursday that it all truly began to turn around. I still feel God when I think of the song that the choir sang when I walked in the door. I‘ll never forget it:
Here I am
Here I am
I’m the one the Shepherd left His fold and found
There were ninety and nine
But He left the fold to find
One little lost lamb and here I am
I still have to thank the Lord for that moment. I have never in my life felt such great love. I knew He loved me and only wanted the best for me and my life. Why in the world was I continually rejecting Him? I went from being a rebellious believer to being a committed follower. All I could do was pray the prayer that would come 2 chapters later in Psalm 25: 4 – 7:
“Show me your ways, O Lord,
teach me your paths;
guide me in truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember not the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you are good, O Lord.”
Man, He is awesome!