Trusting the Lord can seem impossible in difficult times…but isn’t that when trust is needed and tested? No one thinks about trust except when you need to trust! In six verses of the most famous Psalm, King David expresses his confidence in the Shepherd of his soul to provide and deliver him as the context is most likely set in the wilderness during David’s escape from his son Absalom trying to kill him. Just stop and think about that crazy context for a moment! I love it that David’s first word in this trying time was “The Lord” and not “My son” or “My problem”. Isn’t that how we react sometimes? We are quick to forget the Lord, Yahweh, is in charge! David used God’s covenantal name and made it personal with pronouns of my, I, and me. David knew God was true in His commitment in compassion, mercy, love, faithfulness, and forgiveness to the people of Israel (Exodus 34:6-7), but He was confident in His personal commitment. God not only takes care of whole groups of people, He takes care of you! Insert your name in the place of the personal pronouns (my, I, and me) and read Psalm 23 as a promise from God to you!
A shepherd cares for his sheep. In Him we find everything we need (v. 1), rest and peace (v. 2), strength and direction (v. 3), security and comfort (v. 4), sustenance and blessing (v. 5), and goodness and love (v. 6). The Psalm ends in verse six with reassurance these promises are not only now on this earth (all the days of my life), but eternally in the heavens as well (I will live in the house of the Lord forever). When we think sadly “it will never get any better” or joyfully “it just can’t get any better than this”, He surprises us with His lavish love and leads us to greener pastures and more vibrant waters. His guidance leads us not only to nourishment and refreshment, but protection. Even if the Shepherd leads us through instead of around the valley of the shadow of death we do not fear because He goes before us, knows what awaits, and calms our fears with His reassuring presence. We must keep our eyes on Him instead of the instability and uncertainty of this dark world! In Him is life and light (John 1:4)!
With the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14), Yahweh, we have His protection and guidance that comes through His presence. We Him, we shouldn’t lack or fear. There may be times we think we have reason to fear or feel like we don’t have what we need, but that is when we should do as David did and say, “The Lord” instead of “My need”! His banquet table is filled with the food and drink of love, grace, compassion, mercy, righteousness, blessing, security, peace, guidance, rest, strength, and everything else we could ever need. He anoints us as His honored guest and overflows blessing into our lives. He eternally satisfies the hungers and thirsts of our souls. We don’t just get to sit at His table at mealtimes, we get to dwell in His house forever!
- Do you start your prayers to God consistently with “My Lord” or “My need”?
- Have you taken your eyes off the Good Shepherd in the middle of your dark times?
- Do you just go the Lord’s table when your belly is hungry, or are you dwelling in every room of life with Him?
Thank you Lord for Your protection, provision, and presence! I love how You lead me if only I would follow! Thank You for surpassing my thoughts and emotions and being an ever-present reality. I desire not only what is at Your table, but to be with You in every room of life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.