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God Is A Good Shepherd

My grandchildren were staying with us a few days.  One night as they settled down to sleep, I listened in by the bedroom door to their conversation.  My granddaughter (age 8), whispered to her brother (age 7), “Who do you love most:  God or mom?”  “Oh,” my grandson replied thoughtfully, “that’s a good question!”  After a few seconds, he said, ” I’ll say ‘God’……because if I don’t, He might do something bad to me.”  I quietly chuckled, but then the seriousness of his comment hit me:  He believes God is looking for an excuse to punish him.

I’ve formed beliefs about God.  I have my ‘God box’.  I try to define him.  I have expectations of  God ….and then, when He doesn’t follow my agenda, I get angry.  I assume He doesn’t care or isn’t strong enough to do anything.

Psalm 23 says:  “The Lord is my Shepherd…”

I sing about shepherds in Christmas carols, but I don’t know much about what it takes to be a shepherd?  Do sheep really need a shepherd?  Can’t they take care of themselves?  What type of person makes a ‘good shepherd’?  So, I looked it up.  Here are some of the sheep and shepherd facts I found:

A good shepherd always knows what’s going on with his sheep.  The sheep recognize their shepherd’s voice.  He must be intimate with each of them individually-not just as a group -and should know their weaknesses and their strengths.

Sheep are very vulnerable to a variety of predators and need protection.

Food, water and shelter must be provided for them.

Sheep tend to wander off and must be watched so they don’t get lost or hurt.

Shepherds must be caring:  Injuries and sickness require attention from the shepherd.

Sheep respond to proper care and attention more than any other farm animal.

God calls himself a Shepherd…..MY Shepherd.  That’s a very different image than the mad, ‘ready-to-let-me-have-it’ God, and seemed to put a crack in the lid of my ‘God box’ and my grandchildren’s ‘God box’.  But, cracks are good!  That’s how light gets in!  What’s in your ‘God box’? 

Sue is the author of Grandma Sue’s Bible Adventures in Rhyme, and has her own blog.




Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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