Devotional: The Fearless Shepherd

One of my favorite illustrations in the Bible is the idea of God being our shepherd. It’s referenced so many times throughout the Bible and I find it to be one of the most comforting, beautiful visuals. I was reading in Ezekiel today and came across a passage in chapter 34, where God is describing how the people of Israel are like sheep without a shepherd. He speaks of searching for His sheep, who are scattered and lost in the wilderness. He wants to rescue them from dangerous animals, bring them safely home, give them lush pastures, and let them lay down in peace without having to worry about danger. It’s such a cool passage of the Bible.

As I was reading this, I couldn’t help but think about Psalm 23 and all the other verses that describe Jesus as our good shepherd. I started looking up every verse on this topic and then I am to this:

If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. ” Luke 15:4-5

I’ve read this verse many times, but this time the last sentence stuck out like a lightening bolt: the shepherd will happily carry the sheep home on his shoulders. How incredibly beautiful is that visual? Can you imagine the relief of the little sheep as he sees his protective, fearless shepherd come to his rescue? Maybe he was caught in something and helpless to escape. Maybe a dangerous animal was threatening him. Maybe he had no food or water. He was alone, scared, and desperate to be saved.

The brave shepherd rescues him and carries him home. Jesus Christ does this for us. He comes for us when we are lost, broken, scared, and helpless.

On July 30th, when I was in a very low place, Jesus came to me in my darkness. As I was crying out in prayer, I had a clear visual of Jesus walking through a crowd of people towards me. I was in chains, standing in front of the enemy. Jesus walked up to me, unlocked my chains with a key, and said, “Sarah, it’s ok. You are safe with me.” Then He picked me up and carried me. I saw this play out in my mind and it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced with God. It was a life changing moment and one that I’m still processing and trying to understand fully. (I shared more details about it here.)

Reading these passages and comparing them to my own experience leaves me in awe. In that moment of prayer, Jesus literally carried me like the verse describes. I’m blown away as my eyes are opened to see more and more of God’s goodness, love, and concern for each one of us. He came to me in the darkest season of my life, when depression and anxiety tried to defeat me. And like a good shepherd, He rescued me. He came for me, leaving the ninety nine to search for the one lost in the wilderness. And He comes for you too.

I don’t know what battles you’re facing right now, but I encourage you to truly see Jesus as your good shepherd. Close your eyes and visualize Him coming for you. Visualize all of His protection surrounding you like fire. Visualize Him covering you with His love and power. He is the one who will fight for you, protect you, comfort you in your weakest hour, and strengthen you to keep going. He is your good shepherd.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 1The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.” John 10:11-15

“The orchards and fields of my people will yield bumper crops, and everyone will live in safety. When I have broken their chains of slavery and rescued them from those who enslaved them, then they will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 34:27

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The Comments

  • Shela
    January 3, 2024

    Thank you Sarah!
    The Good Shepherd. ❤️

  • Janet Fay Fay
    January 3, 2024

    Thank you for this word of encouragement ! 💜

  • Debbie
    January 3, 2024

    What an awesome testimony your vision is!!! Thank you for sharing it with us. God bless you.

  • Debra Hearn
    January 3, 2024

    Love this Sarah and timely for me today🩵

  • Carol D.
    January 3, 2024

    Simply awesome!

    Thank you Sarah for continuing to remind us who our Good Shepherd is and when we need Him to save us and bring us back He is always by our side🙏🏻❤️

    God’s Blessings to you for these beautiful devotionals

  • Diana P
    January 3, 2024

    Beautiful reminder of God’s love. I was recently where you were also, and sometimes we all just need that gentle reminder of His love.

  • Joycelyn Tongate
    January 3, 2024

    Thank you thank you thank you🙏🙏🙏🙏

  • Laura
    January 3, 2024

    Oh my goodness this is life changing for me!! Love your words to describe how Jesus will go looking for the lost. Thank you

  • Armida Digiambattista
    January 3, 2024

    Such truth you/God has spoken.God is our shepherd ,protector and the light that shows the path, where his love,compassion and mercy uplifts up in times of sorrow,brokenness and when we are in depths of despair fighting with evilness.Our Shepherd, God carries us to our salvation in his loving, protecting arms.

  • Sharis Norris
    January 3, 2024

    Thank you, Sarah! Your devotionals are just so moving and encouraging.
    I too had a life-changing moment during a battle with vocal cord cancer in my early 40s. I’m now 71.
    I wish I could sit and talk with you over a cup of coffee and tell you my story, and listen to yours. We could then marvel at the wonderful love of* our Savior! As these encounters blessed us, then others are blessed in our sharing.

    May God continue to pour out His love and wisdom to you in your journey ~
    💜🙏🏼✝️🌻

  • Keri
    January 3, 2024

    This really spoke to me today…thank you ❤️

  • Joan Hameister
    January 3, 2024

    Beautifully said Sarah. You have a beautiful soul & it shows. Thank you for sharing in this space for us all to witness God’s amazing glory and love.
    Joan

  • Joanne
    January 3, 2024

    Thank you Sarah. Today is my birthday and this is just what I needed to read.
    Love everything that you share. 😊

  • Janet
    January 3, 2024

    Beautiful!!

  • Brenda
    January 3, 2024

    “We are all, in some way or another…that one lost sheep.”

  • Barbara Stokes
    January 3, 2024

    Oh Sarah this is just beautiful! I am blessed by what God has done in your life and thankful for you sharing. HE is ALL we need🙌🙌and so much more than we could ever fathom. God Bless You and your beautiful family. 🥰

  • Ioana
    January 3, 2024

    This is a powerful message that you put into words, thank you!

  • Rita Redondo
    January 3, 2024

    That’s beautiful Sarah. Thank you.

  • Sandy mccrea
    January 4, 2024

    Love it Sarah. You truly are an inspiration. God bless you n your family. Wishing you many blessings

  • Shantelle
    January 11, 2024

    Where did you get the picture of the Savior with the sheep? I love it!

  • Yanira
    January 13, 2024

    Thank you Sarah for sharing your story! What a beautiful illustration of our Good shepherd! He is good, our hope of glory! May God continue to bless you and guide you ❤️

  • Jean Baile
    January 13, 2024

    Thank you for this post. I shared it with a friend who is suffering with pancreatic cancer. After a year and a half it has come back in her liver. My heart breaks for her and I hope she can feel Jesus chasing after her and lifting her up with love and dignity.

  • Sandra
    January 13, 2024

    I love this. One of my favorite depictions of Jesus’ love is Jesus as a shepherd going after the one lost sheep. Thank you for sharing this. I know Jesus came to find me when I was lost and now I am His.

  • Rose
    January 14, 2024

    Thank you for sharing this. What a great reminder

  • Jessica
    January 14, 2024

    Thank you for your reminding words. Please share where you got the print of Jesus and the sheep!!!

  • Leanne
    January 14, 2024

    Beautiful scripture post. 😊

  • Darlene
    January 15, 2024

    Thank you Sarah. I needed to hear these words today. Thank you for sharing and opening my heart ❤️ The Good Shepherd carries us with his love and strength Amen