Counting Sheep

I’ve attended a lot of different churches in my life. And over the last almost-twenty years since I left my Dad’s church and denomination, I’ve had more than a half-dozen pastors. And even the ones I disagreed with taught me something that I’ve carried with me since.

Pastor Ferrell — my last pastor in North Carolina — likes to do series of sermons. You know, three or four or five Sundays on the same topic. Catchy titles. Compelling images on the overhead. They stick with you…

Like the series he did on Psalm 23. Oh, it must have been four or five years ago now. But it comes back to me when I need it.

Like last night.

Lying in bed.

In the dark heat, unable to sleep.

Since about November, I’ve been dealing with a lot of fear and anxiety. Worry. Overwhelmedness. That’s not really new to me. I’ve been wounded. And sometimes, the scars just become really obvious. Like my broken foot that sometimes aches when the weather turns. And last night, I was lying in bed with my heart aching, when I remembered Pastor Ferrell’s sermon.

“The Lord is my shepherd…”

Did you know that a shepherd is 100 percent invested in his sheep? He lives with them, shows them the way, and protects them. If they wander off and get lost, he goes after them and finds them. But the thing that I remembered most clearly last night… lying in bed… feeling heart-sore and unable to sleep… is that each night, when the shepherd leads the sheep into their pen for the night, he kneels down and checks each one carefully for bruises or wounds, and he tends those wounds. And then once each sheep has been tenderly cared for and is in their safe enclosure, the shepherd lies down across the door to the enclosure so that for any predator to get in, they have to go through him. And he would lay down his life for his sheep.

And once I was thinking about a shepherd who loves me enough to tenderly care for each of my wounds at the end of every day, and then watch over me all night, it actually wasn’t that hard to fall asleep.

About Sarah Salter

Comments

  1. <3

  2. And like those sheep, we don’t fully understand the depth of His love for us. It doesn’t make sense in so many ways, but it doesn’t change it either. Very touched by this, Sarah! Thank you for sharing it. :)

  3. Sarah Salter says:

    Good insights, Jason! :-)

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