Have you ever wanted something very badly but when you got it, you wished you never had it? Honestly, we don't really know what we need. We seem to go for the things within our sight without thinking long term. This is why I think Jesus called us sheep without a shepherd.
The shepherd makes sure the sheep are safe. He does not allow them to wander off. Sheep only seem to see the grass right in front of them. They will follow that grass as far as it leads them. They will not notice that their following of the grass will lead them away from the flock. They do not realize that this leads them into danger.
You probably know someone who at one time had a very strong walk with the Lord that now doesn't attend church or exhibit any spiritual connection. They may have started pursuing sports with their children or working on Sundays or bought a boat that they began taking out. These things became the focus of their lives and they wandered away from the rest of the sheep. They are very vulnerable to the thief who wants to steal, kill and destroy them.
The shepherd takes the sheep to places where their is quiet water. Sheep do not do well in fast moving water. It scares them. They are reluctant to drink. Maybe they are afraid of falling in. They need calm water to fell calm.
The events in the world around us will bring upon great anxieties if we do not listen to our Shepherd. Only He can lead us to peace when there is a storm brewing around us. We will fret over the economy, our jobs, our children and even our churches. We will see dangers from terrorists, crazies and simply other motorists. We will worry over our health, our retirement accounts and our debts. We must have a Shepherd who will bring us to calm waters.
The shepherd bandages the sheep when they are hurt. He looks for those who have wandered away. He finds them having hurt themselves. He carries them back to the flock. He puts salve on their wounds and bandages them. He nurses them back to health.
Our Shepherd comes for us when we have wandered away. Most think that He will beat us for wandering but He really invites us to come back with Him. He gets us untangled from the bushes which have captured us. He picks us up and carries us back to where we can be safe. He heals our wounds and exhibits love in ways which make us wonder why we ever wandered.
We are sheep with a Shepherd. We listen to His voice. He teaches us where to go, how to treat others and how to be safe. He seeks us when we wander away. He heals us from all of our wounds. He gets us back on our feet. We owe Him everything.
Most of us have wandered away at some time. Some of us ran away. He gently came for us. We really don't ever want to wander again now that we are back with Him. He is our Shepherd and we are His sheep.
Mark 6:34 (NIV)
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.