At the time I am writing this blog, the two year anniversary of my Mother’s graduation to heaven is only a few days away. Lately, I have been missing those who have gone on before me. My mind drifts to memories of lazy mornings with my Grandmother, Aunt Peggy and Momma sitting around the dining room table enjoying conversation and coffee. It is thunder storming right now and I remember my mother always taking time to sit out on the porch and watch the storm. She did this because my Grandmother was terrified of storms and she did not want that fear to infect me. So, she would hold my hand during the storm and comment on the beauty of nature while the thunder clapped and the lightning flashed. Sometimes she would sing to me, “Till the Storm Passes Over. ” Carrying a tune was difficult for her, but I did not care. Her voice, no matter how off key, was always a comfort to me.
All of my adult life, I have had a strange mental game going on in my head. You see, at my core, I still feel like that little child, holding my mother’s hand during a storm. You may say, “Well Honey, that’s silly. You are a mother of four adult children (my baby will be 18 in September. Yikes!). You have run a home and homestead for years. You have a burgeoning business and even write a blog for the church. Surely you realize you are ‘the adult.’” Well honestly, during most difficult decisions, I am just pretending. I think, “what would be the adult thing to do – the responsible thing to do,” and then I do that. Now, with building a second building for my retreat, I so very much miss being able to talk things over with my Mother, Aunt and Grandmother.
I long for their reassurance and advice.
This morning, I opened my Bible to the twenty-third Psalm. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” I have read this chapter so many times, have heard countless sermons on it and even memorized it and helped my children memorize it as well. But this morning, something struck me that I had never considered. In a flock of sheep, there are Momma sheep, Daddy sheep, Aunt and Uncle sheep. Even perhaps Granny and Pappy sheep. A flock, after all, is just an extended family of sheep. A good shepherd does not stop caring for a sheep just because they are no longer a lamb. I may not have my Momma or Aunt with me right now. I may be the Momma and “the adult,” but I am still God’s sheep. He takes care of me and leads me to the green pastures where I can rest. He leads me to the still waters where my thirst can be quenched with no threat of harm that a rushing river might cause. He restores my soul when my emotions are spent and my mind “just can’t even” anymore. He leads me in paths of righteousness. I don’t even have to worry about making myself a better person because he is always leading me that way – slowly making me more and more like him. I may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but I don’t have to fear evil, because he is always with me. His word is always comforting me. He provides for me, right in the very presence of my enemies. My enemies are a non-threat, because he is always around protecting me. My cup literally runs over with provision. He makes sure I have what I need, when I need it, and more than enough, so I can share. Wherever I go, goodness and mercy follow me. And even though my parents are gone, I’m not an orphan. I get to dwell in my Shepherd’s house forever. Life is good. My Shepherd just wants me to enjoy it and his presence.
My friend, are you ever overwhelmed with living in this fallen world? Do you want to know that someone, more wise and strong than you, is watching over you? Well come on into the sheepfold. You will never be alone because your good Shepherd will always be with you.