The sheep do not choose their own pasture!
(Francis Bourdillon, "Bedside Readings" 1864)
"He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters." Psalm 23:2
"He makes me lie down in green pastures." That is, He supplies the needs of our souls. He . . .
gives us the food of the Word of God,
strengthens us with His grace, and
makes us to find our rest in Him.
"He leads me beside the still waters." That is, He . . .
refreshes us when we are weary,
revives our hearts by His promises,
cheers us by His presence,
gives us His Holy Spirit, and
enables us to rejoice in His salvation.
Amidst all our trials and troubles — He comforts us and gives us fresh hope.
Some may say, "Why should I have trouble at all? Why does the good Shepherd send me anything besides comfort and pleasure? Why am I poor or sad or sick?"
The sheep do not choose their own pasture — the shepherd chooses for them. In the same way, the disciple does not choose his own lot in life — it is appointed for him. His Shepherd knows best what is good for him. The best is not always what is the most pleasant at the moment — but what is most profitable in the end.
Our Shepherd sometimes leads us through what seem to us dry and stony places — but they lead to the Heavenly pastures! And even along the way, He feeds us and comforts us with all a shepherd's care. Never is our Shepherd nearer to us, than when we are in need or danger.
"My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish — ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand!" John 10:27-28