I remember somewhere in the recesses of my brain from childhood memorizing Psalm 23. I didn’t have all the symbolism figured out – just knew that it was a chapter that was to comfort me during dark times and encourage during challenging times. Not long ago, I was going through my Bible and found this chapter sectioned out from a previous lesson or sermon. I never realized that this chapter basically contains six different characteristics of how our walk with Christ should look. It stood out to me and is still drawing me in farther. As a blended family mom, (and all others) join me in drinking in the fullness of God’s Word and let it change you and encourage you for your journey.
Verse 1: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” FAITH … This is where faith starts – The Great Shepherd; never to let you wander alone and an ever present Savior to supply all our needs. Oh sheep – stay near your Shepherd. Listen for Him, watch Him lead. The better you know Him, the greater your faith becomes.
Verse 2: “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” PEACE … When we let Christ lead us, we will find a ‘lushness’, a calm and tranquility that this world cannot give. He will provide you time to reflect and drink in His offerings of serenity in the quiet – His peace.
Verse 3: “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” HOPE … The world crushes – Jesus heals. The world steers us in directions of chaos and confusion. Jesus places our feet back on His path – a path of light and clarity, purpose and joy. There is true hope for our future when we are following Christ.
Verse 4: “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.” COURAGE … There is no place on this earth that you can be and God not know where you are. He is aware of your fears and struggles – He is there for you and working a way around or through your situation. Just as a shepherd uses a staff to corral his sheep – to guide them and course correct them – we can take great comfort in knowing that God does the same for us. We can walk through life with courage – knowing Who we are walking with.
Verse 5: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” GRATITUDE … God gives you everything you need – be thankful. He provides the beauty of a sunrise – be thankful. He quenches your thirst when you drink from His cup – be thankful. I am ashamed at how many people and things I can find fault with so easily. May you and I both stop and find every good gift that we have been given – even in the midst of trial and struggle – and have hearts full of gratitude.
Verse 6: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” CONFIDENCE … You are not walking this life alone. You are not looked at in disgust. The Lord desires to bless you and equip you ‘for every good work’ that He has planned in advance for you. Hold your head up, child. Breathe Him in and delight in the gifts that He has knitted into your being. Live in the confidence that residing in Him can bring.
One small chapter. Six little verses. Six keys to an abundant, exciting journey. It’s your journey – take your keys and go.