A Loving Shepherd
DO YOU ever feel lonely?— Do you ever wonder if anybody loves you anymore?—
Or have you ever been lost?— How did you feel?— It can make you scared, can’t it?—
The Great Teacher once told a story about one that was lost. But it was not a child who was lost. It was a sheep.
You know what a sheep is, don’t you?— It’s a small animal from which man gets wool. In some ways you are like a sheep. How is that?
Well, sheep are not big or very strong. And they get scared when they are lost. They need love and kindness. And they need someone to take care of them and to protect them, just as you do. The man who takes care of sheep is called a shepherd.
In his story Jesus told about a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. But then one of the sheep got lost. It may have been busy eating grass when the others left. Or it may just have wanted to see what was on the other side of the hill. But before that sheep knew it, it was away from the others. Can you imagine how that little one felt when it looked around and saw that it was all alone?—
What would the shepherd do when he found that one sheep was missing? Would he say that it was all the sheep’s fault anyway so he wasn’t going to worry about it? Or would he leave the ninety-nine sheep in a safe place and go looking for just the one? Would one sheep be worth that much trouble?— If you were that lost sheep, would you want the shepherd to look for you?—
The shepherd loved all of his sheep very much, even the one that was lost. So he went in search of the missing one.
Think how glad that lost sheep was when it saw its shepherd coming. And Jesus said that the shepherd rejoiced that he had found his sheep. He rejoiced over it more than over the ninety-nine sheep that had not got lost.
Now, who is there that is like that shepherd in Jesus’ story? Who cares for us as much as that shepherd did for his sheep?— Jesus said that his Father in heaven does. And his Father is Jehovah God.
Jehovah is the Great Shepherd of his people. He loves all those who serve him, even young ones like you. He does not want any of us to be hurt or destroyed. Isn’t it wonderful to know that God cares for us that much?— —Matthew 18:12-14.
Do you really believe in Jehovah God?— Is he a real Person to you?—
It is true that we cannot see Jehovah. This is because he is a Spirit. He has a body that is invisible to our eyes. But he is a real Person, and he can see us. He knows when we need help. And we can talk to him in prayer, just as you talk to your father and mother. Jehovah wants us to do this.
So, if you ever feel sad or all alone, what should you do?— Talk to Jehovah. Draw close to him. And he will comfort and help you. Remember that Jehovah loves you, even when you feel as if you are all alone.
There it says: “Jehovah is my Shepherd. I shall lack nothing. In grassy pastures he makes me lie down; by well-watered resting places he conducts me. My soul he refreshes. He leads me in the tracks of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk in the valley of deep shadow, I fear nothing bad, for you are with me; your rod and your staff are the things that comfort me.”
That’s the way people feel if their God is Jehovah. Is that the way you feel?—
As a loving shepherd takes care of his flock, so Jehovah takes good care of his people. They feel refreshed because of the good things that he does for them. He shows them the right way to go, and they gladly follow. Even when there is trouble all around them, they are not afraid. A shepherd uses his rod or his staff to protect the sheep from animals that might harm them. And God’s people know that he will protect them. They feel safe because God is with them.
Jehovah really loves his sheep, and he tenderly cares for them. The Bible says: ‘Like a shepherd he will lead his own sheep. With his arms he will collect the little ones together. The young ones he will help along with care.’—Isaiah 40:11.
Doesn’t it make you feel good to know that Jehovah is like that?— Do you want to be one of his sheep?—
Sheep listen to the voice of their shepherd. They stay close to him. Do you listen to Jehovah?— Do you stay close to him?— Then you never need to be afraid. Jehovah will be with you.
a Psalm 22, Douay Version.