The plant wasn’t looking good at all. It had gotten too much sun and was wilted. Its flowers were turning a dull brown instead of the bright pink that they were. Everything seemed hopeless. But somebody noticed the plight of this plant and started tending it. Gradually, with the right amount of sunlight and enough water to keep it healthy, the plant started to perk up. It returned to its beautiful self. The flowers were pink again and pointing towards the sky. It looked the way it was meant to look.
We might not think of ourselves as plants, but we, too, can get bent over and feel wilted with all of the worries and cares the world piles upon us each day. We might end up with too much of one thing but not enough of another thing. We need a caretaker who will sustain us and bring us back to how we were meant to be.
Jesus is that caretaker. It is surely no coincidence that in one of his first public acts of ministry (recorded in John 4), he speaks to the woman at the well of “living water.” Or that he speaks of being the good shepherd. As a good shepherd tends his sheep and takes care of them, Jesus will do that for us. And, as sheep will go astray sometimes, the shepherd will hunt for them and bring them back to the flock. The Good Shepherd might not be something we, his sheep, may want, but the Good Shepherd is something that we need so that we may survive and thrive in His loving arms.