He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. Psalm 23:2
The instincts of most animals allow them to prevail over distance, drought, flood, pestilence, freeze, and great heat without any help from man. But, alas, the sheep is not so gifted. Once it has devoured its range, it is unable to seek new grounds, but simply wanders aimlessly, eating the stubble and roots until there is only dirt left. Abundant pasture may lie only a few miles away on a higher plain, but a sheep on its own is incapable of sensing it or of finding it. Sheep also cannot tell the difference between nutritious plants and those that are hazardous to their health.
The sheep need the shepherd. Left alone for long, they would surely perish. The shepherd is the key, the answer, the provider of life for the sheep. This is also true in the spiritual realm. Man does not live by bread alone. Each of us is in desperate need of spiritual sustenance—spiritual food and spiritual water. The Good Shepherd not only leads us to green pastures, He Himself is the Bread of Life.
Do we sense an inner spiritual hunger? Where are we obtaining our food? Are we trying to sustain ourselves, wandering aimlessly from weed field to weed field? So many attempt to satisfy their hunger from an occasional few minutes’ feeding from the pulpit, devotional book, or Christian program. This is not enough! Food and water cannot be stored up for prolonged periods of time. Provision must come day by day. Consider your needs, plan your schedule, and allow the Good Shepherd to be your daily provider. He leads us to green pastures that we may daily eat and spiritually grow thereby.
—Condensed from Why The Shepherd? by Godfrey Bowen