The song expresses longing for a special ‘someone’ who will love her not just with a dash of romance but with genuine care.
This isn’t a new emotion. For centuries human beings have expressed such needs. Sure, we like to be independent and at times have to take personal responsibility but at times of great vulnerability we may feel different. At such times we might, like young children or lost lambs, long for someone bigger and stronger to take responsibility and ‘watch over’ us.
Probably the most popular song ever was not by Ella or Elvis or the Beatles but by a king of Israel living a thousand years before Christ. David was a gifted leader and fine king but in the Psalms we discover the source of his strength was his humble reliance on God.
‘The Lord is my Shepherd,’ wrote the king who as a boy had himself tended sheep near Bethlehem, ‘I have everything I need.’ The Lord leads and provides for those who trust in Him. He brings us back into line and keeps us on track in ‘paths of righteousness.’
In the darkest, most threatening of valleys where we sense the ‘shadow of death’, we are comforted by His presence with us. Christians reflect that our God is not just above us in heavenly glory but became ‘incarnate’ in Christ and made His home among us. Jesus knows this valley well.
Even when we’re facing harsh opposition, our Shepherd treats us as honoured guests, giving David the confidence to conclude, ‘Surely (His) goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!’
May this time of testing for the world be the time when many turn and find new comfort and strength in the Good Shepherd Who ‘laid down His life’ for us all.
(You can read Psalm 23 for yourself in the Bible, the Old Testament.)