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God’s name is Jehovah Rohi which means… “The Lord is my Shepherd”

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I recounted those toddler days to a weary momma friend just this week. We smiled and shook our heads as we shared both hilarious, as well as incredibly refining moments that we’ve experienced in those stretching parenting years.

Is it just me, or does it seem like these adorable little people nearly always want to do the opposite of what their current situation is?

When I went left, they wanted to go right.

I buckled them in the shopping cart. They longed to walk instead.

I served food on a plate. They promptly relocated it to the floor.

I called their name. They turned around and ran the other direction as fast as their little legs would carry them.

Ha.

My longing-to-be-independent toddlers knew what they wanted and went after it with full force. With limited knowledge of the often unkind world around them, and a low tolerance for anything that dared get in their path, they often barreled through life and fought for their own way with every ounce of energy that they had.

And it wasn’t always pretty.

But linger long enough and you know what I noticed after almost every single attempt of them going their own way? They often returned humbled, hungry, or hurt… longing to be reunited once again with their momma. That thing they passionately pursued in the opposite direction wasn’t better after all. 

And when they didn’t return on their own?

A mother knows that there are times when she must pursue the ones she loves.

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The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 

    He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

    I will fear no evil, for you are with me; 

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

~Psalm 23

Like a stubborn toddler, I too fight for independence and go my own way. And the world hasn’t always been kind. There have been times when I have returned to my Father humbled, hungry, or hurt… recognizing that His way is better, and longing for sweet fellowship with Him once more.

And those times when I’m too hard-headed to return on my own?

My compassionate, loving Shepherd is long-suffering and pursues me to the end.

He provides… everything I need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He lovingly shows me that a full life in Him is better than my temporary worldly wants (John 10:10).

He leads… in a world filled with distraction, danger, and chaos, He has provided his Word to light my path (Psalm 119:105) and His Spirit to guide me into all truth (John 16:13).

He restores… the sin-sick, the broken, the weary. What the world calls hopeless and too-far-gone, Jesus has the power to make new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Even when I was dead in my sin, He made me alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:4-6)!

He comforts… praise God that He’s not an unreachable Savior! Instead He is sympathetic in suffering (Hebrews 4:15) and comforts me in abundance like a mother comforts her child – with unmerited grace, tenderness and compassion (Isaiah 66:13).

He pursues… leaving the ninety-nine He searches for the lost one, not giving up until he is found (Luke 15:3-7). His patience is unfathomable, because His heart is repentance for all (2 Peter 3:9).

The Lord is my Shepherd… I shall not want.

Have you gone your own way or do you find yourself deep and weary in the valley?

Friend, come home.

Even in the valley – especially in the valley – your loving Shepherd longs to provide all that you need in Him alone.

At His feet,

*LET’S TALK: How has God provided for YOU in the valley?

 

{Week 2} Video:

If you are unable to see this video, you can view it here.

{Week 2} Challenge: Spend time researching the real-life occupation of a shepherd and the ways he cares for his sheep. What additional parallels can you find that illustrate the beautiful ways that God cares for us?

{Week 2} Reading Plan:

WK2ReadingPlan

{Week 2} Memory Verse:

NOG Week 2 Memory Verse