Sheep are flighty creatures; They take a start at anything, and panic, which in turns cause their fellow sheep to panic. When I was a kid, I once watched a sheep in the back of a truck (Which was following the rest of the flock), get spooked when going over a bridge (a freeway overpass) and jump out of the moving truck and break its own leg. I couldn’t help but think that sheep (at least this one) were stupid creatures. The older I get, though, the more I realize that humanity is not far from sheep in their reasoning. How often do we let fear rule over us? How often do we hide, persecute others, and get ruled by our emotional state? How often do others influence us through our fears, worries and emotions? Quite often, if we look at History. What is our hope? What is the solution? Being led by the Good Shepherd. Psalm 23 says He leads me beside still waters. What’s the significance of this? Why still waters? Because rushing, roaring waters make sheep nervous, and a nervous flock of sheep will quickly scatter. It means that the Good Shepherd chooses our paths (more on this another time), and will lead us in the best ways, no matter how we feel about it. God’s word is such a path. The Psalmist (In Psalm 119) speaks about how God’s word guides him throughout his life, and though that life is not easy, God chooses the best ways to go, if His word is followed. Still waters don’t guarantee physical peace, but the presence of the Shepherd while we’re being led does. Close to the shepherd, on the path He leads us, gives us peace beyond understanding. His pathways are always true and sure, and, should we even be going through misery, woe, and be embattled on every side, we’re still led beside still waters by our Shepherd. Colossians 3:1-17 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.