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.
In John 10:10-15, Jesus described Himself as the “good” shepherd intent on protecting His sheep from evil thieves!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Thieves who come to steal, kill and destroy prey on those who are lonely and isolated. Thieves don’t just steal material possessions. They can also take any sense of security that might have existed for the person being robbed. A sense of security is the protection and comfort the Good Shepherd gives as he restores the souls of those who follow him to green pastures, to quiet waters and on paths of righteousness.
On those days when I feel darkness lurking “too close for comfort,” I remind myself of all I know of The Lord and all he knows of me. On those days when my thoughts begin to stray, I pray my own version of this verse from Psalm 23:
Lord, you are my Shepherd.
Even though I walk around feeling very alone,
I am not afraid for your goodness is with me.
May your love and your truth protect and comfort me,
now and forever. Amen.