Have you ever found yourself so familiar with a passage of scripture that you forget how impactful it was to your life? How comforting it is to your soul? I realized that happened to me with a passage that is a favorite for many believers, Psalm 23. I tend to be an analytical person that likes to figure out everything and sometimes that can cause me to stress about things that I have no control over. One mid-day while dealing with the “stressers”, of work, ministry, and just not knowing what the future holds, I had the urge to just pick up my bible and read Psalms 23. There are a few things that it reminded me of that I’d like to share with you.
Being A Sheep Reduces Stress If You Have the Right Shepherd
Now a days the cool kids call people sheep or “sheepeople” to accuse them of being gullible, naive, or constantly manipulated by others. And sometimes it’s true, if someone just follows every idea that this fallen world has to offer. The philosophies of the mainstream media, music, entertainment, and education is leading many to destruction. However if you are being lead by the “Good Shepherd” (Jesus), there is a rest that is supernatural. King David used to be a shepherd before he was called into his kingship, but in Psalms 23 he compares himself to a sheep. I had to think to myself, “do I see myself as a sheep?” Sheep tend to be gullible animals that can easily be led astray. Sheep don’t have a good sense of direction or smell so they are very reliant on a shepherd and depends on him to provide food, water, and direction. It’s not popular to see yourself as a sheep but compared to our almighty Father God and Jesus the Son we are sheep and we don’t know much. The Creator of the Universe wants to lead and guide us to those green pastures so that we don’t have to want for anything, but we must trust the Shepherd and listen to his voice. True trust in The Shepherd produces peace and rest. Whenever I wave the white flag and fully surrender something to the Lord, comfort comes next. A close brother in Christ always says, “I made a deal with Jesus, I give Him my burdens and He gives me His peace”.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul:He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”Psalms 23:1-3
Trust the Shepherd Even in Uncomfortable Circumstances
There are times that sheep can stay in the same place too long and waters can run dry or the pastures are no longer green. The shepherd must take the sheep through valleys to find greener pastures and more water. Even then the sheep must continue to trust the shepherd during this process so that once it gets through the valley it can enjoy the food and water that the shepherd has provided. Sometimes Jesus allows us to go through situations and circumstances that help us grow and build our faith. He will lead us through a valley that takes us out of our comfort zones. In the end, once we get through it we will be much better off. We just have to remember to trust and believe. He will protect us with His staff during these times and He will use His rod at times to keep us on the path and correct us when needed.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”Psalms 23:4
The Shepherd That Serves
Our Shepherd not only leads, guides, directs, corrects, and protects, but He also serves. Imagine that the Lord, The Creator is going to actually prepare a table for us in front of our enemies. I don’t know about you but when I think of someone preparing a table, I think of someone who is serving. Our all powerful God will reward our trust and obedience. Like the last verse says “goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”. Sometimes I think that goodness and mercy hasn’t been there every single day, but that is my limited view of things. My finite mind can’t begin to comprehend all the goodness that the Lord has shown me even if I think it is bad, He is wise and all knowing and everything is for our good. Think about this, I believe that when it is all said and done and we stand before God we will understand why we were in the situations we were in, we will understand how it was goodness and mercy even when we didn’t believe it to be in the moment. All will be revealed to us when that great day comes. Trusting Him in the here and now is the hard part, but through Christ all things are possible. God bless you all.