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Topic: Staff (01/31/13)
TITLE: The Shepherd's Crook
By Richard Hicks
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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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