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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Lessons of Nature: From a Modern-Day Shepherd by Don F. Pickett explores nature's beauty and harmony as creations of God. What better way to explore these wonders than through the role of the shepherd? On deeper reflection, many examples can be found such as modern-day herdsmen moving with their flocks and the incredible variety of plants and trees they encounter. Focusing on the role of the shepherd, this devotional serves as a biblical guide that highlights the connection found in the relationship between God and nature. Paired with a poem at the beginning of each section, these lessons explore the harmony that is apparent within nature.
The poems draw you into the Word and set up a link before getting into each lesson. The style of the poetry subtly weaves beauty through simple rhyme and word choices that capture the majesty of God’s creation. The language has an empowering effect with phrases that include infinite greatness. Wording such as describing a little spring as God’s show and tell helps to create a mindset that sees the discipline within nature. These highlight key lessons found throughout the devotional which include the importance of nature and senses, and how everything comes together harmoniously. Don F. Pickett takes a poetic approach to God’s plan by addressing the laws of nature, the nobility of animals, and the importance of taking shelter before a storm. Each chapter features a poignant lesson that can be used as a daily devotional or even paired with biblical study.
A prominent theme is understanding the role of a shepherd, whose occupation permits them to be in nature and closer to God. This is seen repeatedly in ways that will have you thinking more deeply such as animals spending time resting instead of behaving aggressively and how the plant and animal kingdoms defend themselves against potential threats. This is an easy source to read and understand as its primary goal is to provide enlightenment, specifically using a shepherd as a metaphoric example that can be followed. A herdsman relies on the mercy of the creator as a way to bridge his weaknesses and calm his fears. Lessons of Nature pinpoints the extraordinary in the ordinary with a philosophy that uses the role of the shepherd to exemplify discipline, obedience, and harmony.