Even the water is dangerous for a sheep. Too deep? Too cold? Moving too fast? All of these are things that sheep cannot figure out on their own. They need the shepherd to guide them to the still waters. But, not too still, or it’s dead water filled with parasites and gut-bloating bacteria that will kill the sheep and make them swell up before they eventually explode like a bomb in the hot afternoon sun. You don’t want that to happen, so be a good sheep and pay attention to the good gifts your shepherd is bringing you to.
Seriously though, a sheep needs daily interaction with their shepherd. The most basic needs cannot be met on their own. A drink of water can be a tragic event if they try to go it alone. The water needs to be gently moving. Fast enough that it’s not bacteria filled, slow enough that it won’t carry the sheep away, and shallow enough that they don’t float down the stream. This daily process of getting the sheep a drink is vital and needs to be led by the shepherd.
Luther echoes the need to trust in God everyday for our most basic needs: “God also give me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.”
God richly and DAILY provides for us! He is not a God who created you and then just makes you to go off into the world on your own. He is not watching from a distance hoping that all turns out for your good. He is invested in a personal and close way for you each and every day. He knows your needs before you even ask. (Matt 6:8) He values you. (Matt 6:25-26) He pays attention to the smallest details of your life. (Matthew 10:30) He provides abundantly. (John 10:10) Jesus, your Good Shepherd, takes care of your needs each and every day!
Dear Jesus, thank you for providing for all my needs! Amen.