Your rod and your staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
I wouldn’t know it until years later, how her heart had been torn. Their relationship had become volatile. How he had manipulated our 16 year-old daughter, bullied her, barring her from her locker between classes until she gave him the combination so he could gain more control.
The volcanic relationship had finally erupted when she found out he had cheated on her. The break-up – hot molten lava.
My husband and I concluded that he was addicted to her.
Years later, she would discover that the same had been true of her, she would see that she’d been addicted – until the day she broke up with him.
That day it ended for her, but not for him. He would continue to pursue her for a time, relentlessly.
She broke it off in April. One month before the end of sophomore year. He wanted his radio speakers back that she’d installed in her vehicle. Her dad said, “Good, come and get them!”
And when he came for them, he was told, “I don’t want you to speak to her or even look at her for the next 30 days.”
There were 30 days of school left. They turned out to be thirty days of trials.
One day we came home to the “F” word written on the mirror in our entryway. Another night he stalked her outside her bedroom window. And while she was on a field trip, she was being swamped with text messages with his threats of suicide.
She continued to confide in us and honor our instructions.
Things were so bad though; we decided to home-school her for her junior year so that she would not have to deal with him, or the fall-out of judgment from others.
Looking back now, ten years later, I see that she was sheltered from what could have been disastrous because she honored us and submitted to our authority.
As I recounted the story to several women who came into my gift shop back in those days, I learned that ‘addiction to people’ was not uncommon. I was thankful this happened “under our watch” as parents.
Her dad was decisive and firm. I was comforting and watchful.
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
The rod – in Hebrew: SEBET – it carries a sense of authority.
Like a father . . .
The rod was commonly a stick, a part of a tree.
It was used to count sheep.
It was used to protect the sheep from other animals.
It was also an instrument of discipline.
The Staff- Hebrew: MISHENA – it carries the idea of support.
Like a mother . . .
It was something to lean on, and trust in.
When wed together, they depict a trustworthy, strong, and tender Overseer.
The comfort of the rod and staff are equivalent to the comfort of having a strong, loving, protective father and a gentle, nurturing, attentive mother . . .
Might you need to grasp more confidently and assuredly the comfort of the rod and staff of your Heavenly Shepherd?