February 13, 2023
Getting Spiritually Unstuck
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need (Psalm 23:1 NLT).
Friend to Friend
On his way home from school, a young Russian boy noticed a lamb trapped head down in a drainage ditch. He went home and asked his mother to come back and help him get the stranded animal free. Azieva Radima went back to the trench with her son. As he worked to free the lamb, she pulled out her camera to capture the ordeal. It was a pretty good size lamb and the young man managed to pull the animal out of the narrow opening. Then, the freed lamb hopped away.
But three hops later, it dove headfirst right back into the ditch.
Millions of people around the world have laughed at Radima’s viral video about the lamb that immediately trapped itself again. Thousands have shared funny, but poignant insights as they relate to the animal’s struggle.
“Getting back together with your ex is like…”
“When your friends try to help you move on, but...”
“Not everyone is ready to be rescued...”
“Hate that I can relate.”
I could also see myself in that lamb. One of the fastest ways to find ourselves stuck after experiencing freedom in Christ is returning to chasing satisfaction apart from God. This isn’t a salvation issue, but it can create a painful stuck issue. The good news is that God is gracious and merciful to pull us out of those stuck places when we call for help.
A former shepherd, King David pens Psalm 23 with observations about God as our Good Shepherd. As Israel’s king, David was subject to no one and quite wealthy. Yet he recognized that for everything that he possessed and controlled, David did not have ultimate control. Today’s Truth captures King David’s acknowledgement that God was the sole provider of everything in David’s life and David wasn’t in search of any other satisfaction.
In this popular psalm, David uses sheep as a teaching tool and metaphor for us. We’re reminded that sheep don’t stress out or strive for their care. They simply trust and follow their shepherd who will provide for them.
That sounds a little too easy for us as humans, doesn’t it? Yet, imagine what your life would look like if you woke up knowing that God will provide what you need. To be clear, there is a difference between being expectant and having expectations. When we’re expectant, we are confident that something will happen, but we’re not fixed on what the specifics of the outcome will look like. Conversely, expectations look like the picture in our mind of how something should play out and usually, the outcome should be minimally inconvenient or uncomfortable.
Do you think that sheep have expectations about what kind of water or grazing they’d experience each day? No, Mr. Shepherd. We were hoping for a water source a few degrees cooler than this. Can you make that happen instead? Instead, the sheep were expectant, not forceful, or fearful. They only knew to rely upon their shepherd. Maybe we could learn a little from the sheep here about confidently trusting our Good Shepherd.
Can you recall times when you panicked or spent a sleepless night stressed out over a situation? Perhaps you remember a time after you’d stressed yourself out and God came through with a solution and you felt (forgive me for this) sheepish?
Life comes with some wild up and down swings. Yet, there are moments when God sends tangible reminders that he is working and active in our lives. Remaining expectant looks like a confident mindset that God will provide an expression of himself whether it’s sending someone with a word of godly encouragement, a Holy Spirit whisper of hope or comfort, a bit of wisdom to illuminate a problem, that way that God extends time to accomplish what couldn’t possibility be accomplished in our own capabilities.
Is there a circumstance in your life today where you need to pray: “God, You have all that I need”? Take a moment right now to express that to God. When you are faithfully expectant, God will always be enough.
God, today I will live with an expectant heart and let go of my expectations of how and when things should happen. You are the Good Shepherd and will take care of me in every area of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you have expectations of God or are you expectant?
Where do you need to let go of your expectations and trust that God will provide for you in His timing and His way?
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotional was excerpted from Barb’s new Lenten book, Finding Jesus in the Psalms. Join Barb in exploring how King David’s life reveals the life and passion of Jesus Christ and this experience will draw you closer to God and deepen your faith with one of the most popular books in the Bible, the Psalms.
© 2023 by Barb Roose. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Monday, 13 February 2023.