One of my favourite Old Testament verses is Isa 40:26:
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing (NIV).

This verse always reminds me of God as Shepherd, bringing the stars out at night the way a shepherd brings his sheep out into the pasture in the morning to graze. In accordance with the custom of the ancient Mediterranean world, the shepherd knows each individual member of the flock, and calls them by name. Because of the Star-Shepherd’s great power, not one of them is missing; all of them are safe in his keeping.

I wonder if Jesus was thinking of this verse when he said,

He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep…the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice (John 10:2–4 RSV).

(There are a number of other passages he could have been thinking of as well).

If he can do that for the stars, he can do it for us. Just as the stars are his flock, so are we. He knows each one of us individually. He knows who we are and what we’re going through. He knows our fears, our hopes, and our desires. And because of his great power, he keeps us safe through whatever happens to us in this world.

Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hid from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary,
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength (Isa 40:27–29 RSV).

This isn’t a promise that because we’re God’s sheep, nothing unpleasant will ever happen to us. But we can be certain that our Shepherd is watching over us, and that what he doesn’t keep us from, he’ll keep us through. We can trust him, even when we don’t understand.

The Shepherd of the stars is our Shepherd too. If he can bring the stars out every night and keep them safe by his great power, he can do the same for us. Whatever hard times might come into our lives, he’ll bring us safely through them. Whatever Satan might plan against us, our Shepherd is greater than our enemy, and he will not allow our enemy to destroy us. Whatever he causes to happen, or allows to happen, to us will always turn out to be for our good, even if it doesn’t feel pleasant. The Star-Shepherd cares about us too, and he takes care of us. We’re safe in his keeping.