Tough Love

Tough Love

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Read

Psalm 23:2, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside still waters.”

Think

You’ll never see sheep, in a circus performing tricks. Why? Simply put — they’re just not that smart. In biblical times, sheep often wandered away from the flock and got themselves into all sorts of trouble. Sound familiar? That’s why the Bible compares us to sheep in Isaiah 53:6: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way…”

Have you ever seen one of those beautiful pastoral paintings with a shepherd carrying a little lamb across his shoulders? It looks so loving. But if you were to interview a sheep, it would tell a different story. When one habitually wandered away, the shepherd taught it a lesson by breaking its leg and carrying it back to the herd. This form of tough love worked because the sheep learned to stay close to their shepherd. Today’s passage says he MAKES us lie down.

This is divine discipline! Sometimes God uses our difficulties to draw us near, to slow us down to rest in His presence — a place of quiet renewal and refreshment. Isn’t it great that we have a great Shepherd in Jesus Christ!

Act

Take a moment to read all of Psalm 23 and picture the scene that is described.

Pray

God, I’m so thankful that You care so deeply for me. I never want to take Your extreme love for granted. I praise You for always being by my side and having my best interest in mind. In Jesus’ name, Amen.