Recently I was hurt. But let me tell you something. Out of wounds come healing, and healing is the reason for life. Healing is a reconciliation to the way things are supposed to be-scars are a beautiful image of the healing, of the redemption. A symbol that reminds us of the time when things weren’t right. When there were tears or sadness. Even though it hurt, the pain is worth His comfort. Our scars make us who we are. They shape us and mold us and lead us, much like the staff of the Shepherd.
The staff is an interesting part of the shepherd metaphor. It comes after the rod, usually. Silly sheep need a rod. The rod is usually a club, or a tree root. Thinking of how David could have killed bears or even lions with this is funny to me. The rod is used as protection for the sheep. The sheep wouldn’t sleep without passing under the rod. It is also used for discipline. Sometimes in my life I choose things that I think will benefit me more than what the Lord is saying. Usually this is subconscious, but it can go on for a period of time if I don’t realize it. The Lord usually wakes me up from this sleep-walking with convictions, or with doors closing. Doors that close really do hurt-but this is His rod. It’s a little bop on the head that reminds me to listen to Him, follow Him, and forsake my old self for my new self.
The staff makes me smile. It is a symbol of care that directs and encourages. It is equally as necessary as the rode. They go hand in hand, like the warm comfort of hot water or the refreshment of cool water (Revelation 3:16). This rode, this encouragement, is something the shepherd leans on. He guides us with it-it is His arm, His hand for us. An extension of His heart. Timothy Laniak has this to say about it:
” The most interesting use of the staff is…”to be in touch.” Walking side by side, almost as if holding hands, a shepherd may simply lay the staff against the side of a special animal. Special perhaps because it needs more frequent affirmation. Or because it is most likely to wander. Or it might just be a favorite.”
After praying 3 years and 8 months for me, my parents have encouraged me and instilled in me that I am special and that the Lord has destined me to be where I am right now for a reason. In this very spot. I can promise you, if you are reading this, it is not by accident. God planned it. You are special to Him. I know this sounds cheesy, foolish even. I promise you that it is true. He is there each day, extending his staff, waiting to be in touch with you. How amazing it is that He wants to be in touch with us. In touch with you. He will minister to you every day, walk with you, talk with you, and listen to you. His comfort is worth the pain, and if there isn’t any pain in your life, His love is better than life.
“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”
One day, death will be a memory.