There was once a young sheep, new to the flock, who went around asking some of the other sheep how he could make it or survive in the flock. He was counseled to read up on how to find good pasture for eating, fresh running water for drinking, and ample shade for resting. He was warned to stay away from thickets & quagmires, to keep out of the water, and to beware of wolves and other predators.
To put it mildly, the young sheep was quite overwhelmed and a bit troubled by the magnitude and complexity of all this information. While meandering along thinking about this, he ran into one of the older sheep. “Why so downcast and troubled?” the mature sheep asked. After the young sheep explained his problem relating to survival in the flock, the wise old sheep replied, “Just stay close to the shepherd and you’ll be fine.”
That’s good advice for us as well. When we stay close to the Shepherd, He will feed us with the bread of life (Jn 6:35), quench our thirst with living water (Jn 4:14), and provide proper care and rest for those of His flock (Jn 10:11; Mt 11:28-30).
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters; He restoreth my soul.” (Psalm 23:2-3)
Our loving Shepherd will also guide us and help us through the difficult thickets & quagmires of life (2 Cor 3:4-5; 1 Pet 5:7). And He will give us the strength and wisdom we need to deal with ravenous and savage “wolves” (Mt 7:15; Acts 20:28-29), and other adversaries (Eph 6:10; Phil 4:13).
So we can take heart and be confident putting our trust in the good Shepherd who “gives His life for the sheep” (Jn 10:11 & 15), “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree [cross], that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Pet 2:24-25).