Shepherding Through Change

Psalm 23 is probably my most favorite psalm in all the OT Psalter. In this psalm, our great God is depicted in the imagery of a loving, caring, and attentive shepherd. I was recently reading this psalm, and I was struck by two repeated phrases…”He leads me…” Twice the Psalmist David points to the fact that God, as our Shepherd, is our Leader. That is to say, “He leads [us] beside the still waters…[and] He leads [us] in the paths of righteousness…” Isn’t it comforting to know that our great God is focused on leading us towards calmness and rightness? I take great comfort in that…and I trust you do as well.

As I contemplate this particular phrase, in this particular psalm, I am reminded of my own duty and responsibility as the undershepherd at Prairie Flower. That is to say, I am reminded that I have a duty to the flock of Prairie Flower to lead it towards calmness. However, with so many changes upon us, how will I do this? Here is my response…I will shepherd your heart through change. But what does that mean? Answer: It means I will be patient with you and your questions. It means that I will lovingly lead you as I listen to you. It means that I will protect your heart and mind through the changes that we undergo. Every sheep (i.e. every person) at Prairie Flower matters to God. Thus, every little lamb (whether young or old) matters to me. Prairie Flower, take heart, momentum does create change, but I will shepherd your heart through these changes.

You know what really strikes me about that first phrase…”He leads me beside the still waters…”? The “still waters” is the destination…it’s not the path! The path towards the “still waters” might be very rocky and rough, but it’s the destination that ultimately matters. Friends, my greatest desire is to lead you towards calmness. But just like road construction, in which they try to pave a bigger, better road, things will get a whole lot more rocky before it gets a whole lot more smooth. Such is the nature of change! So…what do you do during the journey towards calmness? Trust your Shepherd…and trust your undershepherd! And realize that our great God is in ultimate control of everything at Prairie Flower…we’re just along for the ride!

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