I read Psalm 23 every day this week. Every day it said the same thing, “The Lord is My Shepherd.” That consistency is vital to me. I often fail at my end as a sheep who is to follow the Good Shepherd. Some days I wake up grumpy, and my attitude fails to follow the Joy I see in the Good Shepherd’s face. Some days I speak harsh words to people I care about, and I fail to follow the example of a Good Shepherd who speaks words of love and grace. Some days I follow my own desires instead of the wisdom of a Good Shepherd who knows the best paths for me. I am always wandering away, but my Good Shepherd is always there calling me by name and welcoming me into His arms.
The most consistent people I know are ones who work with animals. Whether it is the caregiver of Lydia our Comfort Dog who is up everyday to feed her in the morning before work, or my friends who grew up milking cows on a dairy farm, or my friend who works at Windrush Farm for therapeutic horseback riding; those who work with animals are consistent and dependable beyond any one else I’ve ever met. These are the people who don’t take a day off because of weather. These are the ones who care for their animals before they care for themselves. They’re always on, and you can count on them. Shepherds are the same. Even more so, the Good Shepherd.
I need a consistent Shepherd because I’m always wandering off. Fortunately God promises to always be the same. He is slow to anger and abounding in unending love. He is the same yesterday, and today, and tomorrow. As many times as you wander away and come back to read Psalm 23 your Good Shepherd will always be there to welcome you back to his flock. His love for you will never change. Count on it.