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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Staff (01/31/13)

TITLE: The Shepherd's Crook
By Richard Hicks


Psalm 23:4 The Message (MSG) Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I am not afraid when you walk by my side. Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure.

I have never heard of a shepherd's crook until I read it in the Message Version of the Bible. In the King James Version of the Holy Bible, it is called a staff. Curious about what a crook looks like, I set down at the computer and did a search. It is a long stick with a C-shape or hook at the top of the wooden pole or staff. As I read more about it, I came to realize that the crook was used to catch an animal by the neck or leg. More than likely the animal had fallen, or it was steering off in the wrong direction. The staff was used to keep the flock together.

There have been times when I felt that God refused to answer my prayers, so instead of waiting on Him, I went and did it my own way. I know I have struggled in the area of finances. There seems to be no way out. As much as I try, there just is not any other way. During these times, I believe that God had his trusty shepherd's crook around my neck. It is as if He is saying, "No, not that way. Come back to me, and stay by my side. I am all that you need."

I think it is really tough on us at first. We would run and try to resist God, and maybe even try to wrestle our way loose. When God has His trusty crook around our neck, we cannot get away so easy. Even during a rough time in our life, it will not feel too nice. Jesus may be doing it for our own good and well-being. As we go through life, we experience the beauty of mountains' heights, but then we go through those valleys where it seems we are at deaths door. Jesus is walking by our side as our shepherd nudging and pulling us back to Him. In all of life's situations, He has our own best interests at heart.

How could a shepherd's crook make us feel secure and comforted? I believe we learn to depend on Jesus leading and guiding us through those not-so-easy times. When we would like to move ahead or veer off to the side, He uses that trusty shepherd's crook and pulls us back into the fold, and away from harm. How many times have you had a feeling that destruction was at your door and by the grace of God you were spared? We come to know the shepherding crook. It becomes comforting to us to know He will always pull us back into His great grace. We feel safe and secure, and know that His way is better and higher for us. We can depend on Jesus our Great Shepherd, for He is truly all we need. He allows us to rest in those green meadows, and He will always lead us by those flowing streams, giving us strength and rest for this long journey.

Jesus, I thank You for Your great Shepherd's Crook. I yield to it and do not fight against it. I let You have Your way in my life. Lead me and direct me in Your paths for Your glory and name's sake. I trust You, and I love You, In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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This article has been read 292 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 02/08/13
Lovely, peaceful and powerful prayer at the close. Thank you.

God bless~
Noel Mitaxa 02/11/13
There's a strong link with Psalm 23 here, especially as you also weave in your own testimony. Solid devotional material.
lynn gipson 02/11/13
I was indeed blessed by this beautiful piece. Well written and comforting to my soul. Keep writing!
Judith Gayle Smith02/11/13
Beautifully, comfortingly written. Thank you . . .
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/11/13
This is quite nice. Though this passage has been used by quite a few writers this week, it's interesting to see how the Holy Spirit uses it differently in different people.

I noticed a tiny typo where you used set instead of sit. One way I can remember which one to us is by thinking of the I in the middle represents me a person so I sit, (or the dog sits) Sit is used for the action of the subject while set is what you do to things. I set the table or I set my Bible on my bag while I sit in the pew.

I think you did a nice job on this devotion. I especially enjoyed the prayer. I think there are people who may not know how to pray, so I like it when the prayer is included.:-)
Danielle King 02/11/13
This is a lovely testimony and devotional with a powerful prayer to end with. Well done!
Bea Edwards 02/11/13
Nicely written devotional and reminder. On a humorous note we being dumb like sheep often fall over on our side (or upside down) and can't get up without our Shepard's loving crook.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/12/13
I was blessed by your encouraging devotional.
Sheldon Bass 02/12/13
What a wonderful message and well written too. I don't think you will stay in level one for long. I liked the way you began it as a study of sorts and turned it into more of a devotional type piece. The prayer at the end tied it together well, giving the reader a proper response to the leading & correction of our Great Shepherd. Praise God!
Alicia Renkema02/12/13
I thought this piece really flowed from your heart and it is easy for one to tell that you have a wonderful relationship with your shepherd, Jesus. I love the down to earth way that you speak with your reader which always makes for great devotional reading. The only thing I might suggest is that in the second paragraph you used the word 'way' often. The first time you used the word you could have used the word path instead, for an example of a different word choice. The best thing about this piece for me though was that I felt comforted just in reading it. This is always a good sign of well written devotional material, that the reader actually feels what the write was trying to convey. Thanks for this beautiful piece!