Heathdale flower 13th February 2020

It's What I See

When seeing the whole picture requires a new point of view.

Heathdale flower

What do you see?

Let me guess. A rectangle with a black dot inside. Simple, right?

But what about the white that surrounds the black dot, contained by the rectangular border?

How we perceive things profoundly shapes our actions, thoughts and reactions. When we focus on the black dot, that’s all we can see, completely missing the white. Our limited view means we miss the bigger picture.

This same principle emerged recently when I was asked the question, “If I write the word GOD, what pictures come to mind?”

The pictures our mind generates when we think about God have a direct impact on our view of God. We may see Him as a benevolent father, a righteous judge, a holy being, a compassionate and merciful person. I was then asked, “How often do you think of God as your shepherd?” I’d have to admit this was not one of the pictures that first came to my mind. What we focus on, does impact on how we then relate to God so it’s important to be able to have a bigger understanding of who He is!

Psalm 23 commences with the powerful words, “The LORD is my Shepherd”. David’s understanding of God is an expression of confidence in the protective care of our God – despite the difficulties one may face in life. David understood God as his Shepherd.

“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

Psalm 23 (The New International Version)

David begins by putting his problems in their proper context — he focuses his gaze directly on God: ‘the LORD is my Shepherd’. This is good advice for life generally — bringing God into all situations gives you a proper frame of reference. You can see the white rather than just the black dot.

The idea of God as our Shepherd only in tough times would be to have a limited understanding of who He is. He is also our Shepherd when things are going well and we’re in a time of blessing. Our Shepherd is always our Shepherd, what a great source of comfort and blessing this is!

We can have total confidence in God’s protective care. If you are someone who doesn’t know or understand Him as a shepherd it could be hard to face those more difficult moments in life or to recognise the source of your blessings.

How different it is when you know and understand that God, the Shepherd, has entered the picture! Instead of being tossed about by the waves of inane existence, we have a God who provides a gentle guiding hand to enable each of us to continue the journey of life. David put his life’s issues in to the right context, saying ‘Look at who my Shepherd is — the Lord, God almighty!!’

My prayer for each student, staff member and family, who help form this vibrant community is, that individually and collectively we are able to delight in the fact and say ‘The Lord is my Shepherd!’