“Because the Lord is our shepherd, we do not walk through this life on our own. The Lord is our defender, provider, and guide.”
Very few of us have had up-close experience with shepherds, but Caleb Fetterhoff has. For the past five years, this Moody Bible Institute grad has lived and served among the shepherds of Lesotho in South Africa. In this rural, mountainous country, school-age boys earn their living as “herd boys.”
A shepherd’s life can be grueling. They are constantly moving, enduring harsh temperatures. In the summer, they guide the flock through pasturelands, at least a 12-hour walk to the nearest village. Because of this, the shepherds appreciate community. Sitting by a fire, they tell stories, and Caleb is able to share about God. Summers bring opportunities for evangelism as they see the same people for a brief time. In the winter, the sheep are kept in corrals near the village, which allows missionaries to build deeper relationships with the young shepherds.
Often called The Shepherd’s Psalm, Psalm 23 is probably the most famous passage in all of Scripture. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (v. 1 KJV). It is no wonder that this psalm has comforted so many. Because the Lord is our shepherd, we do not walk through this life on our own. The Lord is our defender, provider, and guide. And, because the Lord is my shepherd, “I shall not want” or, as translated in the NIV, “I lack nothing” (v. 1). What a powerful, life-changing statement! The Lord does not just care for us when we seek Him or when we are at church. We have a shepherd who is always looking out for us. He guides us through times of joy but also when the troubles of life close in. In every situation and every place, God is present. And because He is present, we lack nothing.
Caleb said, “God’s been teaching me the importance of perseverance. Sometimes we have dry spells where we feel like God is distant. We persevere and do what we know to be obedient. But I’ve also been learning about resting on God’s promises. God is working, even while we are doing.”
Friend, we have the best shepherd of all. He is always with us, guiding us toward safety and away from danger. He provides for all our needs. He saves us when we fall. He shows us the best path forward. With our shepherd is the very best place we can be.