Do you long to be cared about and cared for? I mean much deeper than “How are you doing? Hope everything is great.” Care from someone who loves you, no matter what. Someone who is sensitive to your needs and who does whatever it takes to meet them. Someone you can always turn to and who will always pick you up. If you’re like me, the weaker you feel and the more confused or vulnerable you find yourself, the more you long for that kind of care.
This reminds me of sheep. They look sturdy and secure, grazing in a grassy meadow, but few animals are as dependent and as vulnerable. Sheep need to be led because they have a poor sense of direction. They need to be sheared and cared for. And they have little ability to fight or flee their predators. Bottom line – sheep need a shepherd! They need one when in the field with the flock, and they need one when they have wandered away. And if they think like we do, I imagine the sheep who is alone and sensing its danger longs most for a shepherd; it desperately wants to be cared about and cared for.
The Bible compares us to sheep. It tells us that we weren’t designed to be self-reliant, but that we were made to be lovingly guided and provided for by God, who is called “the Shepherd” (Gen 49:24). Sadly, “we all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way” (Isa 53:6). That bent of ours to go at it alone and our decisions to ignore the Shepherd’s directions are called “sin,” and it is sin that has left us so vulnerable.
A good shepherd cares about the sheep. He knows they need him and that they will inevitably perish without him. He goes after them when they have wandered into danger. He is willing to risk his life to find them and to defend them.
The Lord Jesus declared, “I am the good shepherd” (Joh 10:11). He explained that His reason for coming from heaven to earth was “to seek and to save the lost” (Luk 19:10). And He did more than risk His life to do so – “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (Joh 10:11). How does His suffering and death rescue lost sheep? “We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all” (Isa 53:6). He suffered the full consequences of our sin so we could be brought to safety!
Do you long to be cared about and cared for? The Good Shepherd loves you, despite your sin. He died to rescue and save you from it. He knows your true needs, and He wants you to depend on Him for His provision and protection. Will you turn from self-reliance and sin to Him? Will you say, “The Lord is my shepherd” (Psa 23:1)? This could be true of you today: “For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls” (1Pe 2:25). Come enjoy His perfect care!