When life’s burdens threaten to crush my spirit, I often turn to the Psalms for comfort and encouragement. Reading or singing Psalm 23 is especially comforting. David’s words speak to my soul as I contemplate and visualize walking with my Savior, Jesus Christ.
The LORD is my shepherd – not a prophet, bishop, pastor, teacher, friend, or parent, but the LORD GOD Himself! He knows my name! He positions Himself to protect me against all harm…even to the extent that His life is forfeited to preserve mine.
I shall not want – What could I possibly want or desire that is greater than what God has to offer? There is nothing on earth that can satisfy. The blessed assurance of our eternal relationship with God? Priceless!
He makes me to lie down in green pastures – peace, safety, and reassurance are mine through Christ Jesus. He provides the lush pasture and watchful care so I can rest contentedly in His love. And in that protected rest, I am healed.
He leads me beside still waters – He is in the forefront, clearing the path and bids me to “Come.” His preparations and presence ease my journey.
He restores my soul – It’s a complete restoration, not a camouflage or bandage. I am healed by His power, grace, and in-dwelling presence.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness – Again, He leads! He doesn’t send me out on my own with my poor sense of direction. He doesn’t throw me to the “wolves” of the world. He walks ahead and shows the way…and I follow Him.
For his name’s sake – Jehovah…the One who guides, heals, protects, provides, and breathes peace in the midst of the storm.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – Spiritual and physical droughts, declines and diseases are no match for the Giver of Life; and the life He gives is eternal.
I will fear no evil – I am protected. I trust God and believe His words. With Him, there is no need to fear.
For thou art with me – I am never alone. He is my anchor, my compass, my shield. I am a conqueror through Him who created and rules everything in heaven and earth. Others will fail, but He will not!
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me – With His rod for protection and His staff to guide, the Shepherd Himself is the only lasting comfort.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies – not hidden from my enemies, but in the middle of them, for You are all I need to be safe from harm. And the feast that awaits at His table is the only one that satisfies: deliverance, inclusion, justification, mercy, redemption, and more!
You anoint my head with oil – Only God has the “oil” that repels irritations, eases conflicts, and heals wounds. I will go to the Shepherd. I will stand still, bow my head and receive His anointing with thanksgiving.
My cup runneth over – God’s love is boundless. His gifts are endless. The cup He offers me will never run dry. I am blessed beyond measure.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life – because even when I stumble and fall, when my faith falters, God will never ever leave me…not even for a day! God is a “sure thing,” as are His promises.
I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever – not because of anything I’ve done to earn that right, but because Jesus Christ paid the price of my admittance into HIS house and has prepared a place for me. I will follow Him home.
“My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me.”
May I be forever found in the flock of the Shepherd for I belong to Him!