The phrase floated through my mind off and on all day yesterday. The flavour of the words satisfied me. Finally, I stopped to track them down...somewhere toward the end of the New Testament...found them at the end of 1 Peter 2.
"Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls."
I love the sheep/Shepherd analogies. Sheep aren't so smart, prone to wandering, in need of much care. Sheep and I have a lot in common. Shepherds keep sheep safe, nurture, provide, seek them when lost. He's all that and the Guardian of my soul? Sounds good, but does "soul" mean soul or was it just the best English word translators could find? I was hoping, but I needed to know for sure.
Happiness! The Greek word means "the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions." This is good news for me as I tend to experience life in technicolor. My feelings, desires, affections, aversions...they need guarding.
He's obviously not the kind of guardian that has me under lock and key...but He is Shepherding me, caring for me, watching over me. When my emotions get all in a tangle and I can't figure out why I'm suddenly feeling the way I am, He knows. I just need to lean into Him and listen.
So many things sneak up, creep in, creep out... Hours later I find myself reacting to something completely unrelated to the undetected trigger. I find myself wondering, "What on earth??" The Guardian of my soul knows. This is good news for my husband and kids who are most often the recipients of my stray emotions.
And those "desires, affections and aversions." They need guarding. Big time. My soul often wants things that aren't good for it. Seeks comfort in the wrong places. Loves or doesn't love according to agendas that are not holy.
I love this Shepherd who watches over my soul.
How kind the Lord is!
How good he is!
So merciful, this God of ours!
Let my soul be at rest again,
for the Lord has been good to me.
He has saved me from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
And so I walk in the Lord's presence as I live here on earth!
Psalm 116:5, 7-9