Monday, April 23, 2012

Book Review: Safe in the Shepherd's Arms

Safe in the Shepherd's Arms: Hope & Encouragement from Psalm 23
by Max Lucado
Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2002

I was given "Safe in the Shepherd's Arms: Hope and Encouragement from Psalm 23" quite a while ago. It was a parting gift from my Parish Council when life no longer allowed me to serve my parish in that capacity (the ability to bilocate was failing me). I finally picked it up this weekend. This is one of those little gift books designed to offer a quick dose of inspiration, and it succeeds admirably.

I enjoy Max Lucado's writing and this book is composed of short excerpts from several of Lucado's books, all centered on the theme of Psalm 23. Psalm 23 (The Lord is My Shepherd) is one of the most beloved psalms. Because it is so well-known, however, we can sometimes hear it and not reflect on what the words mean. Lucado's words invite us to take time and truly savor the comfort and wisdom contained within Psalm 23. He emphasizes our need to trust in God - that He is the good shepherd who will care for us and knows what is best for us.

There are many beautiful quotes in this book. It is easy to pick it up and turn to a random page and choose a passage to take with you for the day.

One of my favorites is a reflection on the line "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Lucado recalls a time when he felt truly homesick:

What I felt that night, some of you have felt ever since . . . your husband died. Your child was buried. You learned about the lump in your breast or the spot in your lung. Some of you have felt far from home ever since your home fell apart. . .. The twists and turns of life have a way of reminding us - we aren't home here. This is not our homeland. . . You have an eternal address fixed in your mind. . . Deep down you know you are not home yet. So be careful not to act like you are.

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