I’ve never been to the Painted Desert or the Mojave Desert or any of the great deserts out West. The only desert I’ve been privileged to see was the wilderness in Israel. It was beautiful in its own way, but it was also dry and dusty; rocky and barren of vegetation. (I cannot imagine spending 40 days and nights there like our Lord did!) I doubt that sheep enjoy the desert much either. Yet in Psalm 78:52, we are told – “He brought His people out like a flock; He led them like sheep through the desert.” We’re talking the antithesis of Psalm 23 here. No green pastures, still waters, tranquil paths… just rocks and dirt and lots of hot, blistering sunshine. I enjoy thinking of the Lord leading me to a table laden with goodies and dwelling in His house forever. I have a little more trouble picturing Him leading me through the desert–purposefully. Purposefully taking me to a place where I have to trust him for everything…
Oh Shepherd, “Where’s the food? Where’s the water? How do I get out of this place?”
The next verse gives us the answer: “He guided them safely, so they were unafraid.” ~ v.53 No matter which path the Lord may have you on right now – the green pasture path or the rocky, barren desert path – know that the outcome will be the same: goodness, mercy, safety and peace.
Why not put that on your list of things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving?
Following the Shepherd,
Prayer: Lord Jesus—Shepherd of my soul, I like it so much better when you are a Psalm 23 Shepherd, but I confess today that I will trust you still when you lead me through the deserts of Psalm 78.