A beloved Psalm throughout the ages, Psalm 23 speaks of devotion from our Shepherd, peace and rest, and protection.
But do we really understand what these beautiful Words say?
And how do we meaningfully apply them to our lives?
Here is my take on these timelessly beautiful and peaceful Words. The Words in Burgandy are Scripture, with my interpretation and a little humor on how I have been applying – or NOT applying them to my life in green.
The Lord is my shepherd
(when I allow Him to be)
I shall not want.
(even though I do want – lots of things – I will try not to want unreasonably)
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
(even though often I don’t see them)
He leads me beside quiet waters.
(even though I tend to stir them up)
He restores my soul;
(time, after time, after time)
He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
(This means He guides me when I seek Him. When I forget to seek Him, or ask for His help, more often than not, I end up on the wrong path!)
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
(Sorry God, I know that not having enough money for the things I think I need, is not actually the valley of the shadow of death, nor is having shoe and boot envy! – but I get what you mean here.)
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
(I know You are with me, God, but sometimes it’s so hard not to worry or be afraid. Bad things have happened in my life in the past, and I keep being afraid they will happen again. But I will try NOT to worry, and trust more that You know what You are doing.)
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
(Yes, God, I have to admit that in probably every tough lessen I have had to learn, I came out better for it. I don’t like tough lessens at all – as a matter of fact, I dread them, but there is comfort in knowing that once through the lesson I will be stronger and a better person for it. And when I let You lead me, my reward is always greater on Your path than my own. Yes, I have learned this.)
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
(Sometimes I don’t get this one – but I know that when I’m around people I don’t know, or those I feel uncomfortable around, or a little scared of – if I just say a quick prayer to You to help me or keep me safe, I always feel reassured. I know from Your Word that You will bless me for my faithfulness and carry me through any danger.)
You have anointed my head with oil;
(and my feet with beautiful shoes)
My cup overflows.
(Yes, Lord, even though I like to “want,” I do realize that I have much more than many, many others. I have a non-leaking, heated and cooled roof over my head; I have a dependable car to get me where I need to go; I have ample and nutritious food in my tummy every day; and I have so much love and support in my life from family and friends – My cup does overflow!
I will be grateful!!
And during those times when the level in my cup begins to lower, yes even when it seems it will dry up – well, somehow just in the nick of time You seem to always fill it back up and then even overflow it again!
I will remember this! I will!)
Surely goodness and lovingkindness (and mercy) will follow me all the days of my life.
(This means God will take care of me, providing for my basic needs and love me forever. This does NOT mean I will always be trouble-free, carefree, or rich! But I promise I will try to remember this and be grateful, even in the tough times.)
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Thank You, God, that I have Your house and Your presence to dwell in, because I, and my house are sometimes a mess!
Thank You God for the Words You give me – that You give to everyone, to help me – us- make it through each and every day. God, please help me remember to start each day saying “hi” to You, and asking You to walk with me that day, and to be with me, no matter what. Show me who You are in my life, God. Give me faith to believe completely in You, and that You have a pre-made plan for me, because You loved me and formed me, and consecrated me even before I was born. Please help me remember this and be faithful. And in this season of Thanksgiving, please help me see and remember how much I have to be thankful for. I love you God – Amen ❤