Life is better with the shepherd because he provides for our practical needs and he also restores our soul. He leads us to green pastures and also in the path of how our life is meant to be. When God is not my shepherd the cares of my life choke me like a plant among thorns. Everything becomes my responsibility and I lose sight not just of God but of what really matters; my relationship with my family. Sure, I can point to the roof over their heads, the clothes they wear, and the food they eat but life is more than what we wear and what we eat. What does it mean if I provide for my family but lose my relationship with them in the process? If the only way I relate to my wife and kids is logistically, without making the effort to connect with them, then my life is barren.
Christ the good shepherd came to restore our souls. He knows that we are easily overwhelmed by the cares and the suffering in our lives. He knows that we are easily led astray by the riches and temptation of the world. To bring about the restoration of our soul Christ had to die on the cross. He exchanged his life for our death. He took our place, our guilt, our shame, and our wrongdoing upon himself to bring us into relationship with God. He teaches us to follow his lead, to see that we are not alone, and that God cares for us and provides for us. He teaches us not to solely focus on work, chores, and raising the kids. Restoring our soul enables us to see our lives as being lived in harmony with God himself. I’ve found a greater measure of peace within me that has enabled me to forgive, and to persevere with my kids even though they may be driving me crazy. Life, with all its cares and hardships, is worth living with a restored soul.