The Lord Is My Shepherd 23 A Psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
I sit in my back yard in the morning or the night and I am reminded that I have so much to be thankful for. I am alive again. I have a family that loves me again. I have a home, friends, a ministry. I have those I can speak to and love. Though death was almost here again it was not the first time and it will not be the last. Though disappointment was on me it will not be the last. Though everything inside me wants to give up and pull into my hole I can not because God walks beside me. I feel as if this has been a season of disappointment, a season of making me uncomfortable so I look deep within myself and get used to being disappointed, being hurt, being scared and having to trust and rely on God and those God has placed in front of me. Where was David when he wrote this? David was always in trouble, always needing help, and always having only God to rely on. In this instance it must have been very bad. He must have felt as if the world was surrounding him from all sides. He must have felt as if life was so hard that he could not go on or do it alone.
So what did he do? He looked to the only one who had never disappointed him. The one who had always been there even in his transgressions and had seen him when he was no one. He asked for help and what he got was peace. *green pastures—or, “pastures of tender grass,” are mentioned, not in respect to food, but as places of cool and refreshing rest. *the still waters *To restore the soul is to revive or quicken it (Ps 19:7), or relieve it (La 1:11, 19). *paths of righteousness—those of safety, as directed by God, and pleasing to God. Why? *for God’s name’s sake—or, regard for God’s perfections, pledged for God’s people’s welfare.
Life in general right now is crazy. Wear a mask. Do not touch. Live in fear of others and what they may bring in your life. Now add on whatever may be going on in your life specifically. The loss of a loved one, the need to love, the failing of a body that just will not work right and we look at theses things and we say what else God? Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death what? Well God, I am here, again, looking at death in the face, what now? I shall fear no evil. That does not mean that I do not have fear. That means that I give that fear to the one who is leading me and guiding me and I walk into his understanding. That means I listen to wisdom but I also stop my heart from being consumed with fear of anyone and everyone who could or may bring death into my life, of loosing again what I hold dear, of change and what it may bring. I let go and I listen and wait, and try not to be consumed.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Feeling surrounded is one of those things that can consume a person. Feeling as if there is no one there can place a person in a place of despair. We are so isolated right now. For good reason we have pulled back and must stay that way so that we can fight this pandemic, but we need to remember that even in this isolation we are not alone. We need to be strong and understand that God is there leading us and guiding us. God does not use that stick to hurt or punish us, but to lead us and bring comfort to us when we fall away in our heads, in our lives, in our emotions, pulling us close to him and loving us in a very intimate way. We need that touch, that intimacy right now. But not only do we feel God close with God’s arms warped around us but we also are provided for when we do not feel as if there is provision. When we were sick we had more food that we knew what to do with. All people knew to do was bring food and we had food. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
What we did not have was hope, an understanding of what was to happen. So what did God do? My mom called every day just to talk to me, and believe me when my mom calls it is a 3 hour conversation. I had cousins that called that I have not spoken to in years. My sister called almost every day. We were checked on every day by someone. We had my best friend who brought food and decorated my front yard with flamingos and beads and loved us through a window. We had friends who came and cut our grass and cleaned out our gutters. We had friends who went and brought us medication and checked on us and gave us hope. What we needed the most was hope and our friends gave us that. We needed to be heard when we were scared. We needed to feel as if we could be loved through anything, and most of all we needed hope. What do we all need right now? Hope!!! Yes, we need to do what the dr.’s say and be responsible, but we also need HOPE. I find myself now looking toward the future. I am planning our next steps so that I do not loose my mind, so that I hold on to the glimmer of Hope that my community gave me when I was near death again.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with (Healing) oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
If my hope is in God than even if death does come I am still with God. No matter what I will dwell with God forever because I have Hope.