Feed Your Faith

Your Comfort Matters
Individuals, more often than any other times of the year, tend to transition from this life during the summer, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year' holidays. Those left behind often suffer with deep feelings and with a sense of great loss. Psalms 23:5 offers relief; it states that your rod and staff, they comfort me. The 23rd Psalm is a very familiar passage to many. The shepherd in the story is none other than David. This part of the Psalm centers on your comfort matters.
In the Middle East, the shepherd carried only a rod and staff. The rod, which I will address first, was made from a tree. It was very similar to a policeman's club. For the shepherd, it was their main weapon of defense for them and their sheep. For the sheep, the rod represented continuous comfort or strength.

The Rod

Can you recall the story of Moses of how God referred to him as the desert shepherd? Well, he sent Moses to deliver Israel out of Egypt from under Pharaoh's bondage. It was his rod that was used to demonstrate the power vested in him. God manifested miracles thru Moses' rod to convince Pharaoh of Moses divine commission and to reassure the people of Israel. 
The rod speaks therefore of the spoken Word of God. It is the, "Thus saith the Lord". The scriptures are his rod.
When we find ourselves facing loss of any kind, physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges, it is reassuring to know we can turn to the Word of God! It is a comfort to have this powerful tool at work for us. Just like Jesus, our Good Shepherd, used the Scripture in his desert temptation with the devil so can we in whatever that maybe! Our comfort matters to the Chief Shepherd

The Staff

The next weapon a shepherd uses in addressing our comfort matters is a staff. This instrument is very unique only to sheep. It will not do for cattle, horses or hogs, but is designed and shaped and adapted especially to the needs of the sheep.
The staff is a symbol of the concern and compassion that a shepherd has for his flock. It is primary for the comfort to the flock.
The staff speaks of long-suffering and kindness. Now, what does that look like? The shepherd's staff is normally a long, slender stick often with a crook or hook on one end. Just as the rod of God reflects the Word of God, so does the staff of God. It is symbolic of the Spirit of God.
One of the primary areas of sheep management in which the staff plays a great role is intimacy. The staff draws sheep together into an intimate relationship. In the Christian life, we find the Holy Spirit, The Comforter, drawing us together and to himself. The following poem provides an image of the special attention we can receive from the shepherd.

Foot Prints In The Sand by Mary Stevenson

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there were one set of footprints. This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints. So I said to the Lord, "You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?" The Lord replied, "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you."  
Our Good Shepherd is concerned about our comfort matters.
Minister Sheena P. Coleman 
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