“The LORD is my shepherd I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake….” Psalm 23:1-3
Because David refers to the shadow of death in Psalm 23, we often read this psalm at funerals. However, Psalm 23 is really about everyday life.
When we ask the Lord to shepherd us, we have nothing to fear. We don’t lack anything we need. He helps us rest. He restores our souls. He guides us along the right paths in life, if we will let Him. In difficult valleys, we don’t have to be afraid. He corrects, guides, and comforts us. He provides our needs when we face enemies. Blessings overflow in the midst of trouble. We can be sure of His presence.
While I was facilitating a Bible study at a women’s prison, we discussed this psalm as a group. One woman realized that God rescued her the day she was deliberately set on fire. Maybe, through reading Psalm 23, she caught a glimpse of God’s hand on her life in the middle of horrific circumstances. By the end of our time together, she pledged with a smile to share Psalm 23 with a stranger every month!
The Lord is our Shepherd, which means in present tense. I pray for this woman and all of you reading today. May the Lord settle you within. May He lead you to places of rest, restoring your soul. May He lead and guide you in the best paths for your life. May His presence comfort and protect you. May He fight your enemies. May His goodness and love pursue you all the days of your life.
Thank you, Lord, that you are my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. Thank you that you make me lie down in green pastures, you lead me beside quiet waters, you restore my soul. Guide me, Lord, in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. When I walk in dark valleys, please help me to not fear.
Thank you that you are with me — you correct and comfort me. Thank you for dealing with my enemies and providing what I need in times of trouble. Thank you that your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever! Amen.