“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Psalm 23 (KJV)
When I was in the 7th Grade it was ‘mandatory’ that this 23rd Psalm was memorized and we recited it until we got it correctly. I didn’t have a lot of experiences working around sheep while growing up. One of my jobs while in high school was working for farmers picking up hay bales from the alfalfa fields and loading them into a barn and one of the farmers where I worked happened to raise sheep and I recall that they had a peculiar pungent odor and it was almost impossible to avoid stepping in their droppings while walking to the barn.
When I moved to Haiti it became apparent that there were goats grazing everywhere; in towns, along the roadside ditches and on the hillsides. Quite often while driving through the countryside and gazing at goats grazing, the 23rd Psalm would come to mind and by the grace of God its verse was still retrievable from my memory bank. When David wrote that Psalm, he had experience working with sheep and knew all too well that he too was like one of the sheep he was protecting.
The goats and their shepherd in the attached photo, was taken in the Les Cayes District. The late Pastor Israel Isidor is smiling as he watched over this flock and was probably giving thanks for the blessings this herd would bring to his congregation in Les Cayes. Our Heavenly Father takes care of His sheep; our Good Shepherd is here with us daily. He gave His life for us on Calvary to redeem us from death, sin and the devil. It is so easy for us to ‘see’ that we don’t need anybody watching over our daily lives as we can take of ourselves without any help from anyone else; we certainly don’t need a shepherd. We do need a Savior and we need to stop listening to the devil who continues to tempt us away to seemingly greener pastures that this world has to offer.
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay