Truth be told, sometimes I do not like my name.
“Rachel” is a name that people can just spit out when they are mad (and they often do.) It’s easy to say, and is very common.
The name “Rachel” literally means “ewe” (as in the sheep, But when you say it out loud… It doesn’t have the same ring.)
But name “Rachel” also means Shepherdess…
When I think of the word “Shepherd” I think of the Good Shepherd. The one who is the good shepherd to all us sheep.
I’ve always thought that shepherds are pretty cool people. Shepherds are strong and responsible, they are wise and they have to get there sheep to look up to them. Shepherds have to be willing to give up their life to defend their sheep and shepherds have to be level headed.
My name means Shepherdess. But I don’t think I am very much like one.
I’m not very strong. I’m not very wise. I do not have a very level head. (Ok… I can. But it basically takes the world falling apart.)
It’s a good thing that I serve under the Good Shepherd.
He takes me on long walk through green pastures, where he tells me of all the little things that a shepherd should know. With his rod and his staff, he comforts me. He guides me in paths of righteousness, for his name sake.
He knows what is best for me.
In Ezekiel 34:11-16 God talks about his sheep. He says he will take care of his sheep. That he will, “save them from all the places where they are scattered.” And that he will “search for the lost, bring back those that strayed away, put bandages on those that were hurt and make the weak strong.” (Ezekiel 34:16)
The Good Shepherd watches his sheep, and he loves them. He will bring back those that are lost and hurt, and make them well again.
One verse that really spoke to me when I was trying to write this post is found in John 21:15-25. You can read the whole thing because I am just going to be posting a couple verses here.
Jesus had just risen from the dead. And he was eating with his disciples. He turns to Simon and here is what he said:
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
He answered, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
This happens three times. “Simon, do you love me??”
“Then feed my lambs.”
And the thought that I kept having while reading these verses is this:
Jesus calls those who love him to feed his sheep.
I am not strong enough to feed sheep by myself. I can’t lift the big bag of food. I don’t think the sheep would listen to my voice.
But the Good Shepherd is still next to me. As he is leading me to the quiet waters, he is helping me lead the sheep
He is leading me on the right paths, for his name sake, and helping me lead sheep there.
Even though I may go through all sorts of troubles, I have no need to be afraid, because he is with me.
He has set a table before my enemies for me to eat at, and he has filled my cup to over flowing.
With him by my side, I trust that I can have the strength to feed his sheep, and live up to my name.