He is our REFUGE; always present in our time of need.
Biblical writers use the metaphor of sheep to illustrate us, the church, the people of God. These animals are a bit mindless, completely defenseless, incredibly dependent, and needy. They easily tend to wander off and get lost. Anxious, sheep find it difficult to rest.
Does this resonate?
"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul."
The biblical concept of rest is beautifully deep and profound. In the Old Testament, God refers to Himself as the good shepherd, a phrase Jesus will speak of himself. The psalmist writes, He, the good shepherd, "leads me beside still or quiet waters and restores my soul." This word still or quiet, is the same word from which we get rest. It's the idea of settled security, where peace, quiet, and trust are present. It conveys the idea of relief. It's in this place, with Him, that our souls are restored. It's a place of belonging. As defenseless and anxious sheep, under the care, protection, and provision of our shepherd, we will find rest, security and strength again. Jesus echoes this invitation, "Come to me and you will find rest" (Matthew 11v28). The word restores used by King David in Psalm 23v3 connotes this meaning of "turn" or “return.” It carries with it the idea of repentance. It's the idea of a turning away from and turning toward.
we hear the good shepherd say, "Come to me."