A well-worn staff is in the shepherd’s hand. It fits so comfortably in his hand because it always goes with him. Once a young sapling, many years ago, it was hewn from an oak tree. Allow to dry and mature in the elements, it seasoned into a rough staff, fit for use.
Since it travels with him everywhere, it is happy to serve its function as defender. Defender from the quick assaults of life. Defender from the side-swiping perils that come charging from the shadows. Defender from those who would seek to harm him. He knows its protection is with him because it is firm and seasoned. It is also his support. When he is weary, he leans on it and looks out over his flock. His staff aids him as he travels the rough ground, looking for one who is lost. When he finds the lost one, he gently draws the little one close to him and makes his way back down the path to safety.
What is this staff that aids, guides and defends? It is his faith. Seasoned faith like well worn oak, tried by seasons of summer and winter. Tried by seasons of storms and winds. Tried by tumult, but proven in confidence, the confidence of faith in his savior. May you trust your faith as an oaken staff.
Pastor Matt Huff leads Portland Central Nazarene Church. He loves being in ministry and seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ.