When was the last time you started a race by lying down and napping? That's not how you do it, is it? Well, sheep are the same way! They don't have any way to protect themselves except by running away, so if a sheep senses danger, or even feels uncomfortable it won't lie down and rest. The shepherd knows this so he works to ensure they have a place they feel safe so they can get the rest they need.
Sheep are fearful animals and they won't drink from fast moving water. I don't blame them! I mean, if your were always wearing a big, thick wool coat would you want to try to drink from a fast moving river and possibly slip in? I don't think so! Have you ever tried swimming in a wet, heavy wool coat? It's hard for us to do and we have arms, but it's impossible for sheep! They would quickly drown! So, a good shepherd finds still, calm water for his sheep to drink.
Now, if you were a sheep, would you want to eat dry, brown grass or would you want soft, tender, juicy green grass? Of course, you'd want the good green stuff! Well, you're in luck because the Great Shepherd has green grass all picked out for His sheep.
See, the Great Shepherd takes care of the needs of His sheep. He knows what we, His sheep need, even when we don't know ourselves. He leads us down paths He knows we can handle and watches out us for us in case we land on our back.
Did you know that there are sheep, that if they fall and accidentally roll onto their back, they can't get back on their feet without the help of the shepherd? That's right! Their wool coats are so heavy for them that the shepherd has to roll them over and help them back to their feet, and if the shepherd doesn't find them in time, they'll die.
Our Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, does all these things for us. That's why King David, the man who wrote Psalm 23 said,
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet water. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." Psalm 23:1-3
If we've asked Jesus to forgive our sins and live in our life, we are His sheep and He cares for us better than any shepherd here on earth cares for his sheep. Jesus knows what we need and because He loves us, He takes care of us and keeps us safe from things that are dangerous for sheep. He's not just the Good Shepherd, He's the Great Shepherd!
Patty Wysong is a Christian wife and homeschool mom of 5 who is passionate about wrapping lessons in pretty packages that will point others to God.