Did you ever play the game where you stood with your back to someone, trusting the person would catch you as you let yourself fall backwards? Of course, the whole point to the game is allowing to put your trust in someone else other than yourself. Did you know that sheep demonstrate “trust” in a profound way? They put their trust in the one who is leading them – they hear his or her voice and follow – trusting they will be led to safety.
Psalm 23 is probably one of the most well-known and beloved Psalms of the Bible. It gives the reader a comfort of knowing that God has our backs, protecting us, and leading us to safety. In fact, if you have read about Moses and the staff that God gives to Moses, you will know that the ‘staff’ can do anything – created fresh water from a rock (Exodus 17:6), parted the seas so that the Israelites can walk across (Exodus 14:16), and turned a stick into a snake (Exodus 4:3). With that ‘staff,’ Moses performed the power of God!
The Psalmist says, “You are with me, your rod and your staff – they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). In those days, a shepherd carried a staff to guide his sheep. So, if we are the sheep of God, who is our Shepherd, we can find comfort in knowing that the ‘staff’ is able to perform any necessary duty for our safety.
But, what does that mean for you? What does it mean for you knowing that you can trust God and feel safe? How might the staff be used for your benefit and your safety?
Well, for me I immediately think about all the times that a situation could have ended up badly – a wrong turn in the car that could have been a collision, a trip to the doctor that revealed an early diagnosis of cancer, a hand reaching out when I needed it the most, even an angel in my most desperate of times. Lord, you comfort me – your rod and your staff…
Trust Jesus, the one who died for you just so that when you begin to fall backwards, He is there to catch you. Follow your Shepherd who knows what dangers lie ahead – Hear His voice – He will call you by name!
Let us pray…Gracious God, help us to put our trust in you. We pray that you use your rod and staff to protect us and keep us from harm. In your name we pray, Amen.