This week's Bible Lesson about God as Love includes many references to Him as the Good Shepherd. When I was a child I struggled with our family's religion, not willing to accept God as punishing or unforgiving. I always knew He was like the Good Shepherd, even before I read the Bible. Imagine my delight when I found Psalm 23. As an adult, I once studied this remarkable psalm, written by David who was a shepherd in his youth, for an entire year. It continues to be an inspiration for me and the place to turn for healing.
Here it is in the third section of our lesson paired with one of my other favorite Bible passages, also found in Psalms: 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble'. (Ps 46:1) If you wonder how Mrs. Eddy came to use Love as one of the names for God, the answer is also in this lesson. It is I John 4:8... God is Love.
When you think about love, you can see that there is no fear in love. Nothing to be afraid of, nothing to harm or threaten. No painful condition or circumstance. Just imagine perfect Love and see yourself surrounded and embraced by it. Anything you are fearing just melts away. That same chapter of I John also says that "there is no fear in love, but perfect lvoe casteth out fear'.
One of my favorite moments that happened while I was reading Science and Health was when I got to page 578 and found Mrs. Eddy's spiritual interpretation of this beloved Psalm 23. She used the synonym Love in place of the Lord and it just opens up the deeper meaning. It shows why there is nothing to dread, and describes just how divine Love cares for us as a Good Shepherd cares for His flock. If you have our hymnal, look at hymn 304. It is poem written by Mrs. Eddy about the Shepherd's love.
So no matter what you are dealing with today, be not afraid. Go get your Bible and spend a few minutes with your Shepherd. Keep this Psalm close to you and use it throughout the day. Dwell in the house of divine Love.