The Dialogue: Does God Care For Us?

I looked. And when I looked I was met with a pleasant scene. The Old Man was walking. The rising sun glowed upon his white beard so that it appeared to be laced in gold. Shortly after, the silence was broken by a shout. It was the young man.

Young Man: Old Man! Hold there!

Old Man: Hello friend! Come join me. I am on a morning walk.

Young Man: Are you sure I won’t be interrupting?

Old Man: Not at all, not at all. You will only increase the company.

Young Man: Company? But my good friend, you walk alone.

Old Man: Do I?

Young Man: I stand rebuked.

Old Man: And rightly so! We children of the king never walk alone. Our God has a mighty grip
on us.

Young Man: Ah. I wish I had your faith. At times it seems to dawdle.

Old Man: How so?

Young Man: Well, life often assaults even the most innocent. There are days where it feels as if I am left to the mercy of a cruel and sadistic chance.

Old Man: Nay young man! “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”[i]

Young Man: Was it not King David that wrote those words?

Old Man: Truly. And in another place he wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd… surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”[ii]

Young Man: It seems King David was a man of great faith. But of course he would be. He was a King. He had everything!

Old Man: Ah, but you are wrong. King David was not always a king you know? In fact, he spent his youth as a shepherd tending his father’s flock.

Young Man: A shepherd you say? Well how did he ever become King?

Old Man: Ha! You will have me tell a story today will you not? Very well. David, you see, believed that God had a mighty grip on him and that He would never let Him go. The story is told that David fought both a bear and a lion that tried to steal some of his sheep away. Of the lion it is said he snatched the lamb from its jaws, took it by its beard, and slew it!

Young Man: Well those sheep must have felt very secure under his watch.

Old Man: Indeed. But David never took the credit for his brave deeds. Instead he praised the Lord as his deliverer. Years later David defeated a giant Philistine soldier that all others feared to face. It was shortly after that that he became the King of Israel.

Young Man: Remarkable!

Old Man: Read the story of David sometime in the books of Samuel. When you do, you will find a young man who truly loved God. It is in many ways a romantic tale of a lad and his creator. This is why David was able to say, “The Lord is my shepherd.” He did not say “a shepherd” or “the shepherd,” for those would have been theoretical statements. Instead he said, “my shepherd,” which is an experiential statement. You see, David had learned long ago that God would never let him go. Have you learned that lesson?

Young Man: I suppose not.

Old Man: I remember the story of a Scotsman named Joseph Scriven. He was due to be married to his childhood sweetheart. Sadly, a day before the wedding she drowned. Years later he was once again in love and due to be married. A week before the wedding his fiance fell ill with pneumonia and died. And do you know what Joseph Scriven did? Instead of cursing God and wallowing in self-pity, he wrote a poem: “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief’s to bear…”[iii]

Young Man: I know that Hymn! I sing it in my head all the time. I had no idea that author had been through such trial. Why, it brings the words to life to know this!

Old Man: And rightly so! You see, you cannot learn this truth in theology or divinity school. You cannot learn it in your study or in a library somewhere. This truth, the truth that God will never let you go, you can only learn in life. David learned this truth in life. This is why he was able to say, “the Lord is my shepherd.”

Young Man: Tell me more.

Old Man: David goes on to say, “Surely his goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in His house forever.” What David is essentially saying is this: Because the Lord is my shepherd, He will bless me in this life and in the life to come. He will hold on to me and never let me go.

Many of us know about the latter part of this verse. We know about the ultimate reward. We know about heaven. What many of us fail to realize is that when God is our shepherd He is with us always! We are not awaiting some future day when we will finally be in God’s presence. He is here now. He is involved in your life. He is not distant and far away. No!

So when it seems like you are alone. When you feel dejected, forgotten, or betrayed you must believe that God is with you and that He will not let you go. God has a mighty grip on his children. Bears of life might come to frighten you, lions might come to devour you, giants may come to enslave you but God will never let you go. He will be there to strengthen you through every trial.

Now if you don’t believe me, look at what David says. He says, “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.” The Hebrew word for follow literally means “pursue.” God is pursuing us with His goodness and His love. He wants to give it to us. He wants our lives to be filled with His presence.

Young Man: I had never thought of these things. In the light of this, I would be a fool to feel at the mercy of chance, for I have a shepherd!

Old Man: And it doesn't end there. God wants so badly to be in our company, that not only does He pursue us in this life, but He has promised us eternal life with Him as well.

I often hear people who have lost a loved one who lived with them talk about what it is like to go back home. It’s empty. Something’s missing. A lot of them move because they cannot take living in the same house. David says God is taking us to His eternal home to live with us forever. God wants you in His home. It’s empty there right now and He wants you to be there. And if He has to pursue you and hold on to you and call out to you to get you there He’ll do it. But this is only possible if you allow Him to be your shepherd. Would you like to invite Him to be your shepherd today?

Young Man: Why of course! In light of such promise, how could I say no? Why I would be a fool to do so!

Old Man: As would I.

[i] Psalm 37:25
[ii] Psalms 23:1, 6
[iii] Scriven, Joseph. What a Friend we Have in Jesus, song lyrics.