Lynn and I have a little dog named Dollie. We adopted her six years ago from a shelter in Worcester, Massachusetts. But for several months last year, we also had custody of my eldest daughter’s little dog, named Ginger. They were both happy dogs, easy to manage, and a real delight to have in our home. But, during Florida’s rainy season, whenever the sky thickened with dark clouds, and we heard the crack of lightning and the rumble of thunder, Dollie would curl up on the sofa in “Momma’s” lap and go to sleep. But Ginger would suddenly disappear, and “Daddy” would find her trembling, hiding alone in the bathroom, behind the curtain in the shower stall.
The difference between Dollie and Ginger was that Dollie experienced peace in the midst of the storms, because she knew to whom she belonged, but Ginger did not. That reminds me of something King David of Israel once said.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for YOU are with me,… (Psalm 23:4a NIV).”
If God is our Shepherd, we need not fear the trials of life, because He is present with us to keep us from harm. The apostle Paul put it another way,
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
‘For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
No in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39 NIV
I would not wish the troubles I’ve faced in life on anyone, and I’d like to think no one would wish their troubles on me. Still, I am glad for what I have been troubled, for it has been in the darkest valleys I have experienced the almost palpable presence of my Shepherd, the Good Shepherd, who gave His life to make me His own. And there is nothing I’ve experienced in life that could possibly rival that. In times of trouble and danger, we can be content because the Shepherd in whom we trust, draws close to us and we are secure, protected, safe in Him. Is the LORD your Shepherd?