Pslam 23: 3 starts…
He restores my soul
One thing that sheep can suffer from is becoming “cast”. This happens when a sheep falls over onto their back and often can’t get back up on its feet without assistance. When the sheep remains this way they can die. They become bloated and die within hours during hot weather. They need the shepherd’s help to set them back on their feet. Often a shepherd will even need to massage the legs of a “cast” sheep. This is due to the lack of blood and feeling in the legs
Typically the main reason for a sheep becoming cast is they become overweight. Pregnant ewes are also susceptible to this. I think this is a marvelous picture for us. Not that we become fat physically but that materially we have become “fat”. We have all that we could ever want. I find it interesting that we see this amongst the people of Israel. Once they settled into the Promised Land they started to enjoy the goodness of the land. They began to “stray” away from God as their shepherd. We are susceptible to the same trap as we enjoy all the blessings of God. Let us not become more in love with the blessing than with the “Blesser”. In leadership we can also fall into this trap as we wander off from the side of the Master.
Another reason sheep become cast is that they have too much wool. Wool in scripture is a metaphor for self. The high priest wasn’t allowed to enter the Holy of Holies wearing wool. Wool is a a reflection of our self efforts, our pride and our hard work. Those things are great but they don’t bring us into God’s presence. We need to make sure we are “sheared” often to rid ourselves of a self worth that actually drags us down. Over time a sheeps wool can pick up dirt, burs, sticks, thorns, etc. Regular shearing keeps them healthy. Where can we rid ourselves of ourselves?
When we are “cast” our Shepherd picks us back up. Stay close to Him. Allow Him to keep you sheared. He can and will restore you. Don’t trust in your blessings, trust in the One who blesses us! Don’t trust in your self worth, trust in the worth of the cross.