Lord Jesus Christ, still my spirit and focus my attention. I am ready to hear Your voice through Your Word.
Read Psalm 23:1-6
A psalm of David.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The whole range of our experience comes under God’s watchful and loving care–this is the truth of Psalm 23” (A. Leonard Griffith).
This psalm speaks to joy and sorrow, to young and old, to male and female. However we must not let its universality prevent us from taking it into particular situations. For followers of the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), the psalm conjures up both David and Jesus. Even to city dwellers the imagery still resonates vividly. Its opening sentence summarizes the whole psalm, for if the Lord is my Shepherd then I can face anything with him. There is a gracious patience in his provision for his sheep, both of pasture and of accessible refreshment. So there is a dignity given to the sheep and time expended on each one’s welfare.
Then the psalmist describes how the sheep need to find the right path to travel, or protection when danger and darkness loom. We are not excused from the responsibility of making decisions, nor do we get a pass that allows us to bypass hardship, as the early church found out. But the promise is that guidance is offered for those who ask, and protection provided through the lonesome valley. How many have clung to these promises in difficult times and found them to be true? Beyond the valley comes the sunlight, at the end of the journey comes a haven, and there awaits rest, refreshment and renewal.
It is easy to have a strong relationship with the Lord in hindsight; the challenge is to trust him for the unknown future. Looking back, we can recall testimonies to his goodness and mercy that give us confidence to trust him for the next day’s journey. And all the time we are heading, not away from home, but homeward bound. There he has prepared a place for us and is now preparing us for that place.
Trust the Lord with every part of your life and enjoy the adventure of faith. What area(s) of your life do you need to place in God’s hands?
Gentle Shepherd, goodness and mercy have, indeed, followed me thus far. Thank You for the assurance that nothing can ever separate me from Your love (Rom. 8:39).
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