As we continue our summer series on selected Psalms, we recently studied the 23rd Psalm. For certain the best known Psalm, it also was the first Psalm I memorized as a young child. Beautiful~poetic imagery of Who God is and how He cares for us, this beloved Psalm is often quoted. Our teacher used this book to highlight exactly what the Psalmist was telling us and I came away intrigued and immediately ordered the book.
In the introduction to the author, this book above was also mentioned and I decided to order it also. Having raised sheep as a 4-H project during my young years, I am very familiar with sheep and have always been fascinated by sheep dogs. We had a half border collie long ago and the combination of the collie and a poodle was a really smart dog. When traveling in Ireland almost 20 years ago, we saw a demonstration of a sheep herder and his dog with a herd of sheep. Absolutely spell binding, I walked away knowing these dogs were bred to herd sheep by obeying their master's commands. This sweet book did not disappoint, I sat and devoured it in one reading. What great lessons about our relationship with God were gleamed by the author. Fundamentally spot on!
GUESS WHAT! This post is NOT about sheep, sheepherders, nor dogs. Although I could go on and on about that, I came away with another impression I wanted to share. God uses the simple things, the things we are familiar with to teach us daily. I am often asked how I come up with the analogies I write about from day to day life. I told someone this very morning, "Unless you are listening for the song, you won't hear the birds singing." I am always looking for what God is teaching me throughout my day. NOW, every moment is not teachable, but there are always lessons to be had in almost every day.
The Word is filled with Jesus using the day to day to teach us how to live. The widow's mite, the potter's clay, wine skins, children, and the planted seed are only a few examples. Why read over The Beatitudes again and remember the times you were wearing the shoes of the poor in spirit, the mourner, the persecuted, the merciful. Jesus was an expert in the use of analogy. The Word is filled with examples of day to day life when teaching us how to live. It is not necessarily a profound, deep philosophical concept, but instead something from day to day life such as a shepherd keeping his flock that God uses to instruct us.
The simple parts of life are great tools for discovering God and deepening our relationship with Him.
God knows most of us are not philosophical giants, but He also wants us to have a deepening relationship with Him. What better way to draw us, teach us, and remind us of Who He is, but in the simple things of day to day life?
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father,
and I lay down my life for the sheep.