Our Caring Shepherd is Always Beside Us In Our Pain

“As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after My sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.” (Ezekiel 34:12)

Scripture is full of images of Jesus as a Shepherd. Psalm 23 has its calming tones. We read in Luke 15 how a shepherd will seek out one of his lambs gone astray and rejoices when it is found. Though often linked with the principle of salvation, this parable can be applied to any of the Lord’s own who have gone to seek other pastures.

With this Ezekiel verse, new thoughts came to my mind. I meditated on the challenges that many of us face when we are dwelling with our caring Shepherd, trusting Him and clinging to Him for our strength.

The Lord has countless followers, sheep who depend on Him to meet their needs. In this way, because there are so many, they are scattered – meaning they cover the whole earth. Not one is missed by His watchful eyes even if some choose to wander off.

Those who remain true and do not roam can be crushed with the cares within. These showed up when the day of clouds and darkness sent these sheep into dwelling places unimaginable. Did the Shepherd make some mistake? No.

What I recognize as I read this verse is that our “rescue” is not from our wandering off, nor that we are in need of salvation. Rather we are in specific need of being released from the feelings that can overcome – despair, false guilt, self-condemnation – the things that can bring shadows that may seem to block out the sun of the Shepherd’s care.

He is ever near, looking out for each of us as He understands our deepest needs. He is so pleased when we choose to stay near him as well.

Prayer: I lay down in your pasture of care, dear Lord. Help me to receive the light of your love that is ever present. May it shine through any cloud that tries to invade the space that only You can fill. Amen.

About the Author
Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. She lives in Lynnwood, Washington. She writes to encourage others as God has encouraged her during 27 years of living with daily physical challenges.

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7 thoughts on “Our Caring Shepherd is Always Beside Us In Our Pain

  1. This is a really nice one Lynn. I like what you said about release from feelings of despair, false guilt and condemnation. I especially liked the word picture of bringing us out of the shadows that block the sun of the Shepherds care. It was very healing and encouraging for me to read. I like it when specific examples of feelings or behavior are given like this. Thank you so much. Send me a message and tell me what is up with you. Blessings, Sarah Clausen

  2. Lynn

    I have never looked at this verse in quite this way before but I like your thoughts on it. Very comforting thoughts. As Sarah has said, it contains beautiful word pictures for me.

    I am so glad that Jesus is MY shepherd and that He is looking out for me (and everyone else) but the idea that He cares just for me as though I were his only sheep (as He does for each of us) is beyond my comprehension. I don’t understand how He is able to do these things but I have faith enough to believe that He can.

    Thank you for your words that give me comfort in a time when I need it. God has a way of providing exactly what we need, when we need it and He has used your words to comfort me today.

    Praying for you.

    Love and hugs,

    Heather

  3. Lynn:

    After reading this piece, I checked out the verses at the beginning of the chapter to get an idea of the context. The Lord is telling his prophet Ezekiel to prophesy against the faithless shepherds of Israel, who were greedy and did not care for the flocks (His chosen people). They (the people) did not get true teaching and were not looked after when they were sick or weak. In fact, they were treated cruelly.

    What a contrast to our Good Shepherd, who feeds us with His Word, watches over us constantly and is ready to help us in the time of need. And what a lovely word picture you have painted of His nearness and His joy when we stay close to Him.

    When I find myself believing the lies the enemy uses to bring me down, my Shepherd is there to remind me of the truth. That He loves me, values me and has totally wiped my “sin slate” clean.

    This devotional is so-o-o good and the picture with it an excellent visual aid.

    Thank you Lynn.

    Luv ya,
    Beth

  4. Lynn
    I was not able to read this Devotional earlier when it arrived. I just scrolled down……and as it was penned by you, I have had a constant feeling of anticipation all day til I could get back home and make a bee-line to my computer. And as you so aptly do, you led us through these passages. But your unique gift does not set out a prescribed point of view. You lead us to contemplate your words and apply the passages to our own lives. That is one of your God-given gifts which I so admire. As well, I totally agree with what Heather and Sarah have have expressed.
    Thank you for sharing your unique gifts with us.
    Love you
    Rachel

  5. Sarah, Beth, Heather and Rachel – thank you. How blessed I am to know you are encouraged.

    I truly had never “seen” this passage before which you know means I never saw it jump out at me with this message. It was the word, “scattered” that caught my heart. I know that we all feel that way – more than we want. Then God poured the rest into me because I needed it!

    Heather, I do not know how He does it either – is so watchful and personal to each of us. Yet I am so grateful that He is!

    Love,
    Lynn

  6. What a beautiful and inspirational post, Lynn! When I attended parochial school, a large framed painting of Jesus holding the lost sheep greeted me as I walked in the hallway each school day. That feeling of warmth and love has always stayed with me.

    How blessed we are!

    Nancy J Locke

  7. Pingback: Explanation of the 23rd Psalm In Japanese is Comforting « Chronic Illness Pain Daily Devotionals

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