As the story goes, in the early days of motor transportation, a truck was carrying a load of sheep between two farms. Due to the inability of the sheep to lean into the curves and turns of the road, the truck flipped over to block the road. As a result, truckers began loading sheep into smaller enclosures that would impede the livestock from sliding to one side of the vehicle, preventing further accidents of this type.
It is a humbling realization that I am one of God’s sheep. I don’t have the common sense to come in out of the rain most days. I would gladly wander off from the flock, getting into more trouble than I could ever find a way to escape, and I usually don’t know how to keep myself upright when life throws twists and turns in my path. We who are God’s people are sheep who need to be constantly tended by our Good Shepherd.
The beauty in this image is not that we are sheep, but that we have a Shepherd—one who cares for us, ensures that our basic needs are met, and showers us with blessing more than we can ever imagine. Shepherds will always care for their sheep. They will also come to love their sheep—even the ones who cannot seem to keep from getting themselves into trouble constantly. The final verse of this psalm reminds of that fact: “For the LORD is good and his love endures forever, his faithfulness continues through all generations.”