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My fourth toy is a shepherd’s crook.
The shepherds who visited baby Jesus must have had a crook with them — a long and sturdy staff with a hook at one end that comes in handy to manage their sheep as they forage. They use it to catch and pull back a wandering sheep, it becomes a weapon to defend against predators, it helps to balance when walking rough terrain and it is used to part tall undergrowth when looking for lost sheep.
“I am the good shepherd… and I lay down my life for the sheep.” — Jesus (paraphrased from John 10:11)
It’s no coincidence that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, was visited by shepherds as a baby. That should say something to you — because of who He is, He is able to direct the course of your life, catch you when you are wandering off into danger, and defend you against predators. And He can wade through the entanglement of disobedience to find you.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and all his sheep are within his reach.
But the big question is, are you one of his sheep?
“ — your rod and your staff, they comfort me,”–Psalm 23:4