Life Stresses and the 23rd Psalm

Have you ever heard of or read the 23rd Psalm?  It's pretty popular at funerals, though in reality it was written by King David as a profession of joyful trust in the Lord, and may have followed a festival of praise.  As we think of National Police Week and those who put their life on the line daily, but also every Christian who battles the enemy in their own way, let's realize the richness in this passage.

"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want."

God is our Great Shepherd.  He is the provider of all things.  If we put our trust in Him, we realize everything else pales in comparison to His total presence in our lives.

"He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul."

There are times in this life when things get too heavy for us to continue.  It is then God simply says, "rest".  Often, that's all we can do.  Whether we are physically limited, emotionally bankrupt, or spiritually dry, it takes moments like these to force us to be still and reflect on who God is.  Total dependence is where He wants us, and in those moments can we be wholly restored.

"He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." 

Our God gives us spiritual wisdom to know what paths to take and which choices in life will not only glorify Him, but aid us along our journey.  Instead of blindly walking through this life, let's fall in line behind Him stepping every step behind our Leader.

"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."

There are times in this life that we are put in dangerous situations.  Yet, we do not have to fear them, for God is ever-present.  His instrument of authority - His Word, guides us and gives us wisdom, comfort, peace and support, just as a shepherd's staff guides, directs and comforts his sheep.

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows."

In times of trial and uncertainty - in the presence of those who want to harm us or bring us down, God lifts us up and sets before us a table of blessing.  He anoints us as His holy and dearly loved, and we are filled to the brim with His kindness.

"Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."

Though we are not promised a life full ease, we are given the assurance that God will be with us every step of the way.  And, when our days are through, if we have put our faith and trust in Him, we will walk with Him throughout eternity.  Amen.

I pray that you find some comfort in this passage.  For me, it's a reminder that God is in control and I can rest in His presence.