Cody's Corner: What is a good shepherd?

by Cody Biby

Isaiah 40:11: “He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.”

God is a good shepherd, and Jesus claimed this title for himself in John 10:11 when He said, “I am the good shepherd.” This begs the question: What does a good shepherd consist of? Would we even recognize a good shepherd if we saw one today?

In biblical times – and even in some places around the globe today – shepherds did many things for their flocks.

They led their flocks to places where they could eat and drink. This was not an easy task; in some regions, places to get your fill of food or water are few and far between.

The shepherd would rescue sheep from any predators or dangers of any kind. He would go find any sheep that had gone astray, saving them from a mess of trouble or any snares they may have gotten themselves in.

The shepherd loved his flocks in every way possible. He would assist in delivering the lambs and bandaging up any wounds they had. He would gently lead the mothers and their babies. The most precious part of the above verse is that he would even gather his sheep and carry them close to his heart.

The shepherd provided, protected, and cared for the sheep more than we give him credit for nowadays. Since the sheep were raised for wool, and not primarily for meat, the shepherd usually had a lifelong relationship with the sheep as well.

Brother or Sister in Christ, do you believe that Jesus is your good shepherd? Have you seen Him provide for your every need? (Notice I did not say every “want,” but every “need.”) Have you experienced Him rescuing you time and time again from all dangers?

Has He saved you from the mouth of that lying lion who seeks to devour us while killing, stealing, and destroying our faith? Has He – not one time, but multiple times – saved you from a mess you got yourself into because you went astray?

Then TESTIFY! Tell everyone you know, and some people that you do not know, about how awesome of a shepherd He is. The world, our nation, our state, our city, and your family need to hear this more now than ever.

Weekly, I must fight feelings of worthlessness and despair – feelings of wanting to give up in various areas of my life. With everything that has happened this year, maybe you can relate. You might be feeling overwhelmed, tired, empty, alone, and afraid; you are convinced it would be easier to just give up or quit.

Maybe you are almost ready to lie down, and you do not even feel as if you could ever get back up.

Do not be surprised when you feel strong and loving hands reach underneath you, and do not freak out when you start to rise in the air as the Good Shepherd picks you up.

Do not be ashamed when He carries you close to His heart and starts to heal your emotional and psychological wounds. Notice how the pain you once thought would be there forevermore has been erased by nail-scarred hands. He loves you and will give you rest in green pastures. He will lead you to still waters where there is no more endless turmoil in your soul.

Do not be afraid when He sits you back down on solid ground and tells you to follow Him again.

When He carried you close to His heart, it accomplished innumerable things.

Where you are weak, He makes you strong. When you never thought you would feel safe again, you are now walking with unshakeable confidence and security of heart and mind.

When the enemy convinced you there was only death and failure, a revival of spiritual energy, life, and strength coursed through your veins. Where you believed you were only damaged, bruised, and bleeding, you started to see how the Good Shepherd healed you. As you start to run the race, songs of praise burst forth from your lips as you realize He has made you stronger than before.

We may not always feel comfortable in whatever He calls us to do in this life. We may at times want to be carried when He makes us walk. At other times, we will want to walk our own way, and praise be to Him that He will carry us or lead us to where we need to go instead.

I hope we will all try listening to our Shepherd’s voice this week. I know amazing things will happen in our individual lives – and in this city – if that happens.