In fact all of us have "stuff", poorly packed "baggage", issues, limitations, faults and challenges. Too often this universal human condition is considered either by ourselves or by others to be proof of our "unworthiness". It is all just the biggest lie. God does not make junk and God made you so you are valuable, wonderful, created for important work. But all of us feel less than worthy at times.
It is for such times as this that I am particularly grateful that God is my Lord and my Shepherd. Sheep are not the "might steeds" or "king of the jungle" or "majestic eagles." Sheep are soft and needy and need at LOT of care and there are just days when I need a LOT of care. So a God who is my Shepherd is a God who is attentive to my day-to-day needs, my most fragile moments, my most embarrassing failings. God, being the perfect shepherd, does not yell or demand or give up, all of which I am pretty certain are common temptations for earthly shepherds. God is patient, keeps teaching lessons even when I am slow, stubborn or willful. God pays attention to me and knows my every need, weakness and error, yet continues to woo, love, teach, help, tend, feed, lead to still waters, and, yes, restore my weary soul.
Psalm 23 is so familiar that we often overlook the reason for its enduring presence in resources for comfort and its persistent use at funerals. It is because, in the end, when we realize that our ability to control all things is an illustration, and in the most challenging of times, these words present a truth that puts all in perspective:
You, Lord, are my shepherd. I will never be in need.
You let me rest in fields of green grass.
You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and you refresh my life.
You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths.
I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won’t be afraid.
You are with me, and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe.
You treat me to a feast while my enemies watch.
You honor me as your guest, and you fill my cup until it overflows.
Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life,
and I will live forever in your house, Lord. (Contemporary English Version)