Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
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.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 23 (ESV)
Notice the first five words of this Psalm—“The Lord is my Shepherd…”
I can’t begin to count all the times I have written those words from the first part of verse one of the 23rd Psalm, on the top of a notepad as I was beginning a meeting. Or wrote them down again in the midst of some disagreement or difficulty which may have occurred during the meeting, or began reciting them aloud to myself in the face of some uncertainty rising up, or bad news I had received.
Then look also at verse four again—“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.”
In the original Hebrew language, the “valley of the shadow of death” David is referring to literally translates into “the valley of deep darkness.” With death being simply one kind of “deep darkness” that David is referring to, which he had to deal with himself, and in one instance caused.
There are many other deep, dark times, other than death, which we may have gone through or will go through. Times which will concern us, times where we’re afraid or are anxious about something, times when we worry and can’t seem to shake it.
There may be times brought on by things such as illness, unemployment, rejection, defeat, failure, a deep lingering doubt—about something or someone, or maybe even some doubt about yourself. Maybe we’re struggling to try to change or overcome something in our life we need to change, because we know that it’s holding us back from becoming all God created us to be. All of those and others, may be some of those deep dark times David is writing about—which he himself went through.
And that fear, worry or anxiety we feel, or struggle we’re dealing with, often keeps us stuck and frozen in that valley of deep darkness, so much so that we can’t move on, or we’re afraid to move on.
The secret, which we need to remember, to getting through those times is what David also grew to understand and which he wrote about in that majestic 23rd Psalm. As a matter of fact, it’s so important to remember, that God inspired David to begin the 23rd Psalm with that secret.
And it’s this—that we never face those times alone. We never face anything alone. The Good Shepherd—God—is there and goes with us through whatever valleys, or even mountaintops, we will face.
And that reminder of God’s presence is contained right there in those first five words in Psalm 23 which David wrote—“The Lord is my shepherd…”
And He is, will always be, and will always see us through.
The Lord is my shepherd—remember it, claim it, believe it!
Stop and think about it for a minute—is there anything else you would need?
In His Name—Scott