daily devotional
When God created you he placed within you unlimited potential to live a ridiculously good life. He placed within you talents and gifts, making you a totally unique individual in this world. And he left a hole in you. At first glance this hole would seem to be an imperfection. A mistake. A flaw in you that you’ve tried to fix for years. But this hole is no accident. This is a perfect God sized hole that only he can fill. This is why you continually struggle on your own. This is why you measure and come up short. This is why you always seem to be missing one piece of the puzzle. It’s not because you’re lacking. It’s not because you’re unworthy or broken. It’s because you were created to need. To need God. Your creator tied himself perfectly to you, creating a need within you that would continually bring you back to him.

Yes, this could be why you’ve struggled. Not because there’s something wrong with you … but because you were created with an inherent draw back to your creator.

Psalm 23: 1-2

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters

This psalm was written by David. You know, David and Goliath … the little shepherd boy who slayed the giant? Yes, that David. He was a shepherd. He understood the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep. The closeness. The care.

While David was a shepherd, he knew he too had a shepherd. The Lord is MY shepherd. David says he is mine. He didn’t say God is the shepherd, he said God is MY shepherd and there’s a difference there. What’s the difference? A personal relationship.

Don’t you know God wants a personal relationship with you? He wants to personally care for you. What is it you’re worried or burdened with today? What is it that’s laying heavy on your heart or mind? What big decision do you need to make or step you need to take? Did you know God wants to guide you in that? That’s how much he cares. Maybe you think God doesn’t have time to be concerned about your ability to pay the mortgage payment this month, or that job interview, that test, that next step, or your back that’s been hurting you, but the truth is he cares deeply about EVERYTHING in your life. He wants to be close to you. He wants you to come to him for everything.

God is your shepherd. He is caring for you – Always. Because of him, you will lack nothing. Everything you need will be supplied.

And we are sheep. Stubborn, foolish sheep. Did you know that sheep cannot live on their own – they require a constant caretaker. They are wanderers and they instinctively wander off into trouble … just like us. Do you seem to wander right into trouble quite often? Do you ever stop and look around and think “how did I get myself in this mess?” We wander around through life, we dabble here and we dabble there, never staying still long enough to create a foundation and so God MAKES us slow down. Understand that’s what it means by “he makes me lie down’ in green pastures” … he makes me slow down. When I won’t stop on my own, he creates the stop.

It is said that ancient shepherds would lovingly break the leg of a sheep who was constantly wondering off into trouble. There’s not a lot of proof to back up this claim, but what can be proven is shepherds used what’s called a “leg brake”. Not break as in a broken leg, but brake as in the brakes on a car. A leg brake is a weight attached to the leg of a sheep which caused a burden, preventing the sheep from wandering too far. It slowed the sheep down with a burden. It wasn’t a punishment to the sheep. It wasn’t to break it’s leg, but instead to cause it to be close to the shepherd. This closeness caused the sheep to learn to trust it’s shepherd. Once there was trust, the leg brake was removed.

Maybe you feel broken right now. And maybe that’s not by accident. Understand, God hasn’t broken you, he has allowed a heavy burden to draw you in closer. Go ahead and lie down in that green pasture. Recognize where God is trying to pull you in close to him and restore you. See that where you may have been wandering off to could have been dangerous and your shepherd had to step in and protect you, metaphorically braking you to keep you from wandering off again. Recognize your need to slow down, tune out all the distractions and receive restoration from your shepherd.

Are you currently being delayed? Is the process taking a lot longer than you ever imagined? Consider this … maybe that delay is for a purpose. Maybe you’re being held back by the shepherd himself as a means to help you see the green pastures that are all around you. You want to dart off and seek out greener pastures, convinced it will always be better over here or over there, and you’re missing the green pastures you’re in right now. So our all knowing, ever loving and patient God says “girl, look around – today you’re surrounded by the very things you once prayed for. Don’t miss this!” (oh, that just got someone! You’re in your green pastures, you’ve just been missing it.)

Sheep are not only wanderers, but they are quite helpless. Without constant sheering, their backs become so wide with wool that they literally cannot get up from their back and will lay there and die. Now that’s what you call getting stuck. And isn’t that what we do? Gosh we fall down and we get stuck. We get ourselves in a rut of bad habits and lazy routines and we just can’t seem to get ourselves out. And then the record in our head starts playing telling us all that’s wrong with us. Maybe you’ve heard that record before “what’s wrong with you – you’re so stupid – you will never change – there’s no hope for you – you’ll never get better – you will battle this for the rest of your life.”

Listen up for some truth here. The devil wants to give you wrongness (is that a word – well it is today) and brokenness. Jesus wants to give you righteousness and wholeness.

Just as the shepherd comes running to that sheep stuck on his back, rescuing and saving him, our Jesus comes running to us and picks us up. Listen to me – God’s not mad at you. He knows you’re just his sweet sheep. You wander. You get stuck. You need him. And here’s what you may have missed, just as God created sheep to need a shepherd, he created you to need him. You simply can’t get away from it sister, you need God.