LISTEN ON ITUNES
If your heart has wrestled with fear this week, you are not alone.
If you have opened God’s Word but the words seemed unable to penetrate the panic of your heart, you are not alone.
If you cried out to God and felt like He wasn’t hearing or answering or had forgotten to be gracious, you are not alone.
I can remember so vividly moments when the fear felt so big that it felt almost impossible to take a real breath.
I battled fear just like that last week with little to no relief.
And then God brought to mind, Psalm 23. A favorite reminder of who God is and why I can trust Him.
The Lord is my shepherd,
I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
WHAT WE LEARN FROM PSALM 23
- He is my shepherd. Think about the analogy here. What does a shepherd do for his sheep? He protects and provides and feeds and keeps safe. So God is my protector and provider and giver of good things. He nourishes me and keeps me from danger.
- In Him I lack nothing. This reminds me of Psalm 84:11 that reminds us that “no good thing does He withhold” from His children and Psalm 85:12 that says: “Yes, the Lord will give what is good…” and Psalm 34:9 that says: “Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack.” We have no lack because He is a perfect provider.
- He gives me rest. He alone can quiet my anxious soul. And He does so in a way that is generous and kind. Did you see the description of the pastures in verse 2? They are GREEN. It’s a picture of vibrancy and life; when God provides rest it isn’t into a dry dessert but a green pasture, a place where our souls can be nourished. This verse reminds me of Ezekiel 34:14 that gives an even more vivid picture of what David, the writer of this Psalm, is communicating: “I will feed them with good pasture… There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God.” All of that communicates that God has provided (in Jesus!) and continues to provide (through His Holy Spirit) rich, nourishing rest for our anxious and fearful souls.
- He brings me back. The word for “refreshes” in the original language of this Psalm means “to return” or “to bring back” — when my heart leads me away He will bring me back. Reminds me of Matthew 18:10-14 right?
- He is with me. Easily 4 of the most powerful words in all of Scripture. Do you know why we can lay down in that green pasture and not be afraid? Why we can walk through the deep dark valley of the shadow of death? Why we can have a picnic in the presence of our enemies? And not be afraid. Because HE IS WITH ME. And HE IS WITH YOU. One of my other favorite passages of scripture that give this same truth is Isaiah 43:1-3
- But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
- But now thus says the Lord,
You are not alone friend. And He is not distant or far or callous to your fear or pain.
I pray this simple and small reminder of Psalm 23 on your phone, computer or tablet, this reminder of who God is and how He cares for you would daily, and even moment by moment bring hope to your heart.
THANK YOU TO THE JOYFUL MOURNING PODCAST PARTNER:
CULTIVATE WHAT MATTERS
I wanted to thank Cultivate What Matters for supporting The Joyful Mourning Podcast. Cultivate What Matters are the creators of the PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner as well as the Write the Word Journals — two of my most favorite tools for intentional, purposeful living.
For the grieving mama who may find opening the Bible to be too difficult in this season, The Write the Word Journals are a perfect solution. This tool takes the overwhelm out of opening the Bible and provides a simple way to consistently spend time reading God’s Word — where I believe true healing can be found. To check out all the details about the Write the Word Journals (as well as a generous 10% coupon code) head to http://www.themorning.com/cwm