Jesus, Our Shepherd

Source: the author

One of my favourite images of Christ is the one with Him holding the lamb in His arms.

I love this painting because so often I have been that lamb, being held and comforted in the arms of the Lord. And it is the perfect illustration for my favourite Psalm; the 23rd Psalm.

Just as David said, the Lord has “brought me comfort”. He “restored my soul” from despair on the January night I found my husband’s body outside. The trauma was lessened through faith that this was God’s will and I had to embrace it.

In fact, Jesus reassured me before I was able to sleep that night that I need not worry; He would take care of me. “His rod and His staff have guided me” ever since and all my needs have been met. He also blessed me with caring friends who share my faith in Him.

Those words: “You shall not want” are so true for those who trust and believe in Jesus. By staying close to His flock I survived living in a country house without power and water for a couple of years until God provided a new husband, and I moved to a big city apartment that had two bathrooms and someone who loved me dearly.

Then when I had to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” once more eight years later when this husband passed away, Jesus was there to console me once more.

When the most difficult blow came two years later, learning that my 43 old son had suffered a fatal heart attack, I sought consolation from the words: “surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life.” My son left me the treasure of two loving grandchildren who are now teenagers, and time spent with them brings joy to my heart.

We have all heard the words: “Let go and let God” which means we need to trust in His will for our lives. That is not always easy to do, and now, facing this time of COVID-19 we must do our part in helping to eradicate the disease. God is inspiring caring hearts and we should all pray for the safety of the essential workers who are facing the possibility of contracting the virus at their jobs.

Jesus is the source of all comfort and hope. Let us trust Him to help us to weather this latest “storm of life”.

He truly is our shepherd and loves us more than we can imagine.

Joan Levy Earle was an author and artist living in Cornwall, Ontario. She was the former Associate Editor of the Canadian Messenger of the Sacred Heart magazine.

  • Wendy McCreath
    Posted at 03:34h, 22 June Reply

    Thank you so much for this reflection, Joan. You have faced multiple adversities with an accepting and loving heart. Far better than to withdraw into yourself and wallow in self pity.

    • darcy Mann
      Posted at 10:55h, 22 June Reply

      I think Wendy commented my same thoughts here Joan. You have handled all your tragedies of life with class and a calmness because of your faith. Life continues on, and a lot of society turn to drugs and alcohol in their despair, buy you turned to your deep faith, and that was your blessing. Stay safe during this trying time..

  • graeme quinlan
    Posted at 06:30h, 22 June Reply

    Such a beautiful and poignant story that I can relate to very closely. Having been at the deathbed of first my father then three short years later the the passing of my mother .These were extremely stressful moments in my life. but later I then lost my younger brother to cancer then a few years later I was to loose my younger sister to the same horror of cancer, I have always maintained that if the Lord had not been at my side as my helper and refuge during those times of great stress I would not have had the strength without faith to continue..Itrust in the Lord at all times. Give praise to the Lord.

  • Peter Bisson SJ
    Posted at 07:59h, 22 June Reply

    Thank you for sharing Joan!

  • Cindy Pelletier
    Posted at 11:10h, 23 June Reply

    Thank you Joan for sharing these painful experiences with me. The death of your son, John comes back to me each July as I send a birthday card to my brother, Darcy. It reminds me that life is too short for some and that we must celebrate even the small events in our daily lives. Your faith is an inspiration to all of us.

  • Lorella D'Cruz
    Posted at 23:43h, 28 June Reply

    Joan, your words are an inspiration! Faith has enabled you to endure unimaginable adversities, as everyone else has commented. You have suffered much and been rewarded with His goodness and mercy for your complete trust in the Good Shepherd. I thank you for your eloquent message.

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