Devotional - Health topics

Jesus as Shepherd

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom. Isa. 40:11, NKJV.

Our son Chuck's tombstone has Revelation 21:4 carved on it: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." I felt it would be a comforting verse and a witness for others, because it soothed my own breaking heart every time I read it.

For my own stone, though, I would choose Isaiah 40:11. My favorite vision of Jesus is as shepherd, for as shepherd He brings love and comfort. As shepherd He understands when anguish covers us with darkness and pain and we find ourselves lost in a fog of circumstances that leave us numb.

Jesus enfolds us to His heart according to our need. I like to think in particularly agonizing moments that those of us who have immediate needs He holds even closer to His breast. It reminds me of that wonderful verse in John: "Then, leaning back on Jesus' breast . . ." (John 13:25, NKJV). We need to lean back on Jesus' breast every moment, but at certain times we need to yield totally and allow Him to carry both us and our burden.

The following anecdote from Farm and Fireside illustrates wonderfully this point: "An aged, weary-looking woman with a heavy basket upon her arm entered a train. Carrying her burden down the aisle, she found a seat and dropped into it, resting her heavy basket on her lap. A friendly workingman sitting across from her watched her for a long time, and then finally leaned across and spoke. 'Madam,' he said, 'if you will put your basket on the floor, the train will carry you and the basket, too.' How much truth there is in that kind remark. How often we do as the woman did, come to Christ for our soul's salvation, and yet steadfastly refuse to let Him bear our burdens and look after our daily lives. We are willing to get on the train, but refuse to lay down the burdens."

How blessed we are to have a Shepherd who clasps our weary heart and body to His own pierced heart!

Ask God to lift your burden today. Then hold fast to this thought: "Because the Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need!" (Ps. 23:1, TLB). Aren't we blessed that Jesus is our shepherd?

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.