Surrendering to our Good Shepherd

Anastasiya Gorski

May 8, 2024

Ecclesiastes 8:7 tells us, “If no one knows what will happen, who can tell him when it will happen?

I flipped the page of my twelfth book on health, fertility, and diet, searching the black ink for one more hack to add to my to-dos. The smell of beef liver wafted through the kitchen, as I picked up my phone to order another herb to cram into my cabinets.

I was convinced that creating a new life would be as simple as perfecting biochemistry. This was the moment that God ripped control out of my hands. This was the circumstance He used to call me home.

A whole year later, I surrendered my life to our Good Shepherd, and as my faith has matured, I have noticed that God's plans remain unknowable, even when we seek Him diligently. I am learning that God wants us to fully cling to Him alone, so that we rest completely “in the hand of God” (Ecclesiastes 9:1).

Whenever I notice that I am clinging to control, instead of our Good Shepherd, God nudges me back to surrender and to dependence on His leadership.

What does it look like to SURRENDER TO THE LORD?

Have you ever watched a shepherd lead bleating sheep right past your house? Me neither. Yet, Jesus uses the shepherd-sheep relationship to illustrate how we can surrender to the Lord. This is a central Biblical metaphor for our walk with Christ!

This got me thinking: What does it mean to be God's sheep?

I look around, and I see CEOs in suits, accountants tapping on their laptops, and politicians sneering on the news, but in our modern world, I'm lost in understanding what it means to be a shepherd. What does a shepherd do, exactly, and what is the role of the sheep in that dynamic?

Luckily, God gives us some wonderful Biblical examples! I think of David, the “man after God's own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). Long before he was a king, he was a humble shepherd, and that intimate understanding of the shepherd-sheep relationship is evident throughout his psalms:

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:1-4).

David outlines the safety, rest, water, and nourishment that the Lord provides him as his Shepherd. God takes care of him completely, leaving David nothing left to fear. This is God's call for you. Surrender every burden, and follow our Good Shepherd to green pastures that He's already prepared for you.

Weekly Challenge

What do you cling to in your life? Where do you think, If I just do this differently, I will get exactly what I want? Open your palms to God, reminding yourself that all your life is His. You can pray something like, “Jesus, You are my Good Shepherd. Thank You for leading and restoring me, for Your name's sake. Help me cling to You, O Lord, and remind me that every good gift is from above. This burden is not mine; it's Yours, and my job is to cling to You alone.”

This is part one of a three-part devotional on our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Be sure to come back to the Forge blog next week for part two to learn more about what shepherds do!