My husband could not resist pulling off the side of the road to get this picture. We have it on our wall with the twenty third Psalm printed below it. I am not sure if this shepherd is carrying a rod or a staff, but in any case he uses it to keep those silly sheep in line.
When one thinks of the shepherd’s rod for discipline or his staff for guidance, the word “comfort” is not one that comes to mind. Being on the receiving end of either of those instruments can not possibly be comfortable, quite the opposite. And yet the psalmist can say that they are a comfort to him in the hard times of life. They keep the sheep from evil whether it originates from within or without.
There is plenty of evil in my own heart that makes me prone to wander. There is also the evil around me in the form of predators. His rod and His staff will keep me from all forms of evil. My shepherd is my Guide and my Protector. I belong to Him.
When I fight His rod and staff I am putting myself in harm’s way. Everything He does is for my own good as He is good. That is why those uncomfortable instruments He uses with me are a comfort.
Even when all looks dark and desperate when facing death, I can have confidence. Evil will not win. No believer ever makes that walk into eternity alone. He is there. There is no reason to fear. My loving Shepherd will keep me safe.