God has a poor track record appointing shepherds to watch over the flock. Countless servants showed great promise, got appointed to the job, and then turned out to be self-interested failures. Each and every one abandoned, if not fleeced the flock, concerned only for their own welfare, to the detriment of the sheep.
It is unwise to rely on humans, even the best of them. In contrast to the dismal record of the human shepherds, our faithful Shepherd/God brings the sheep back from the places where they have been scattered and lost, back to verdant pastures and fresh water, to rest in serenity. That’s the kind of shepherd we need.
The problem is that so often we don’t recognize our need. “I’m doing just fine, thank you very much. The cost of discipleship is too much; it’s not worth it.” But then comes a day of clouds and thick darkness (verse 12) and the sheep are scattered. We feel the panic of separation and loss, recognize our need, call out for help, and discover that our faithful Shepherd/God has always been nearby, ready to carry us back to that place of serenity.
Thank you, God, for your love and faithfulness. Forgive our straying ways, and hold us always in the palm of your hand. Amen. — TG