Our Father the Shepherd

I recently read of the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth’s rite of passage. It is an interesting rite where at a particular age, the boy’s father takes him deep into the forest blindfolded. At a certain point he sits his son down on a stump and leaves him. He is required to sit on that stump the entire night and not remove the blindfold for any reason. Only until the rays of the sun shines through the blindfold can he take it off. He is told to sit still and not cry out for help. Once he survives the night, he is welcomed into the tribe as a man and cannot tell the other boys of his experience. Each lad must face the ordeal before he can enter into his own manhood.

As you can imagine, the young boy deep in the forest was terrified. He could hear all kinds of noises – both real and imagined. He feared a wild animal might attack or even another human pass by and hurt him. As the night wore on, the wind blew and the noises continued, but the young lad sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It was the only way he could become a man. After what seemingly felt like an eternity, the sound of the night began to dissipate. Eventually, he could feel the warmth of the sun on his face and see the light coming through the blindfold. He slowly removed his blindfold. Only then did he see his father – sitting on a stump next to him – on watch the entire night.

For those who know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, you are not alone. Even when you are in a dark place and feel as though you are all alone; even when you don’t know it, He is right there beside you, watching out for you and protecting you. King David saw God as his shepherd, watching over him and taking care of him. Even in the valley of the shadow of death he had no fear because he knew his Shepherd was there with him. The writer of Hebrews picked up on this truth as Moses instructed the Israelites about taking possession of the Promised Land and giving responsibility of leadership to Joshua,

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them (the opposing forces in Canaan), for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or
forsake you.” (Deut.31:6; Heb. 13:5)

The next time you feel all alone and fear begins creeping in, take off your spiritual blindfold and see who is beside you – it will make a world of difference!

To His Glory,
Pastor Bill