Shepherd Moments

I am sure most of us remember Sunday School times, memorizing scripture and singing the choruses. One of the first ones I memorized was Psalm 23. As a kid I loved the first part being led by quiet streams and restoration. The next part was a little scary, walking through the valley of the shadow of death. That always painted a desert valley place with high looming mountains and walking in the shadows and scary things around me. I almost missed the next part as I was scared, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and staff comfort me. The next part made no sense, You prepare a table before me in the Presence of my enemies, my cup overflows. Why would I be put on display for those who wanted nothing to do with me and then be happy (cup running over) about it? My second favorite part is surley Your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the House of the Lord FOREVER. Thank goodness I have matured and grown in my faith and knowledge of this scripture. This Psalm has been in my thoughts for sometime now and I will explain why. This past year has been a rollercoaster with lots of twist and turns that would cause anyone to get some gray hair and wrinkles. I have heard wonderful testimonies of God’s provision, help, strength and care. I have even experienced that myself, but this year alot has been going on especially with covid, for the past 3 years and surgery looming with some health issues I did not see coming. Depression and wanting to throw in the towel kept going through my mind, but Psalm 23 kept creeping in and giving me peace. The first verse “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want. As a child the word want was high in my vocabulary. It seemed I always wanted something. Another version said, I lack nothing. I started to look at myself and my life and started writing down my wants and started to pray about them and lay them at His feet. These wants/needs melted to peace. I knew it would be really tight financially and I would have some physical limitations for a short time and just started being honest with God. I gave Him the specifics and I can say I lacked nothing. People showed up to help with things I could not do and helped Dreama take care of me. Bills were paid and I had all the essentials and necessities. Praise the Lord. He gave me that rest in verse 2 and the quiet stillness that restored me, my soul and my health. I was healing well and making great strides toward keeping my health going the right direction. His peace and strength was there and I could feel it daily. There were days of feeling like I was in the valley, when I had pain and could not put any weight on my foot, but God was there and His rod and staff comforted me and helped me not give up. I was so elated. God did prepare a table before me in the Presence of my enemies…worry, depression, guilt, fear and “death”; my cup was full and was overflowing. God was and is so true to His word and I had months leading up to my health issues and 3 months of being still, waiting and pouring over the word. I grew not only as a person, but as a Child of God. I am so grateful for God’s provision and guidance during this time and amid the stress of the unknown needs were met, victories were won and the scriptures made sense and carried me through day by day. I can not Praise Him ENOUGH. Some thoughts I want to leave you with this week…

  1. When in need pray and be specific. I had unexpected expenses/needs come up and I just let God know and He met my need everytime.
  2. Never give up. Open God’s word and just BE with God and soak in this intimate time with Him. It can be the same scripture that He brings you to, embrace it and claim it.
  3. Find your Core people/person and tell them, confess your needs, struggles whatever you need and have them pray for you, with you and over you. James 5:7-16 are good verses to help us in this area. Surround yourself with people who love you and will lift you up. God is so good and He will help you through it and give you rest, restoration and renewal. Have a great week and a restful one too.

This is the version I memorized. I love the language here. Blessings to you all.

Psalm 23

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. 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. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Psalm 23:1‭-‬6 KJV