Posted by: Terry | March 21, 2015

A week in a dark valley, I needed the Shepherd

This week I have needed my Shepherd, Psalm 23 has been on my mind all week, and brought me comfort. My Shepherd has been in the dark valleys, he knows the struggles of life, thus he can “provide help in times of need.”

The lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing…

Yet it is in my nature to want more, to measure my situation as insufficient or inadequate. “I lack nothing…” is a statement of praise as well as a confession of faith. I may not have all that I wish for, either in possessions or in situation, yet I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads my beside quiet waters…

Our soul is in need of daily sustenance and refreshment if we are to face the darkness of the valley. Confidence in the valley comes from knowing the Shepherd by the quiet waters.

Makes me lie down… When is rest most precious? When we are exhausted. Could it be that stress and pressures are for the purpose of making us tired enough to lie down and rest for a bit so we can be refreshed. We need time to sit and read a Psalm, or meditate on a song, then chat with God about them. We may miss the peace of the green grass and the quiet stream because we are looking for sustenance from a fast-food drive through window, instead of quiet time alone with the Shepherd.

Still waters… The voice of the Spirit is quiet, or as Elijah learned a whisper. After resting in the green pastures we are more receptive to the quiet waters. Shhh, listen! No rapids or rushing waterfall, just a quiet peace, that is the voice of the Spirit, just a bit of calm in a day full of noise.

Refreshes my soul…

My most inner being needs daily refreshing. The sins of the day, the conflicts with people, and the worries of life all drain away my strength. But my Shepherd is the forgiver and advocate for my sins. He is the one accepts and loves me when others do not. He encourages me to “be anxious for nothing” and says, “I give you peace, but not as the world gives it.”

Time in the green pastures and by the quiet streams feeds and refreshes my being, it has this week, it has in the past, I look forward to the future.

He guides me …

To make it each day my soul needs daily refreshing and guidance. I dare not make it up as I go, but must daily follow his lead. When there is uncertainty regarding direction it is “his names sake” that must be my compass. The right path will always elevate the name of the Shepherd.

Walk through the darkest valley…

If I am in a dark valley and anxiety is my companion I fear it is because I have not spent enough time in the green pastures and beside the quiet waters. A heart full of the promises ingested in the green pastures, a soul that is refreshed from spending time by the quiet waters of the Spirit, is confident as it travels through the dark times of life. Will I walk through the darkness of life with my Shepherd, or accept anxiety as my companion?

Prepare a table…

When all is against me my Shepherd/King/Priest sets my table with goodness, love, and hope. As a special anointed guest he fills my cup with these.

Goodness, mercy, and love are what I need most. When all around is darkness and conflict, the enduring knowledge that there is One who loves me completely and unconditionally, and who wishes only my ultimate good, sustains me.

Then when I lift my eyes above my present situation I see in the distance the house of the Lord, the wonderful dwelling place for those who are following the Shepherd. There is hope and there is comfort knowing that as it is today is not how it shall always be.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want

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