Skip to main content

Okay, I am ready now!

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...  Have you ever really stopped to consider those words, or are they just words of 'nice sentiment' to you? If the day will hold just a moment or two for contemplation, I think these could just be the words we might want to meditate upon! They are better than anything we can do to 'medicate away' the pain - emotional or physical. They are more trustworthy than even the most binding of contracts on this earth. They are more fulfilling than the biggest and best of meals we could luxuriate upon. These are words spoken with intent - they are words that are filled with hope - and they are words meant to encourage us even when all else seems to fail us!

God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I'm not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure. You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I'm back home in the house of God for the rest of my life. (Psalm 23)

We have an authority over our lives. The role of the shepherd is to lead and protect the sheep, "directing" them, and "providing" for them. As a leader, the shepherd sets the way, just as a person in charge of directing gives wisdom and insight, and a provider makes every need his priority. When God is in this place of 'leadership' in our lives, we don't need anything else! We are able to stand confident and assured because we know our direction is established and all we will need along the way will be available to us when that need arises.

You lead me beside still waters - in a way, he is bedding us down, providing us with rest for our weary souls, and allowing us the comfort we need in order to be restored. All the world hurls at us daily serves to wear us down - it sucks energy from our souls, occupies precious space in our thoughts, and entangles us in its grasp. Still waters run deep - there is a refreshing that comes when we partake of what God provides for our restoration. You restore my soul - true to his word, he gives us time to catch our breath - even when others would not. I cannot count the times when life was throwing stuff at me so fast that I physically, mentally, and emotionally did not feel like I could ever come up for air. The pressures mounted and the fears entered in - that is the natural outcome when pressures mount and we are left trying to lead ourselves through the many pressures we face. We can find some insight here - we need to go to where God is leading us - there we find rest.

The worst thing we can do is to believe that we are too busy to take time for God, to 'preoccupied' to even allow him to refresh our weary souls. God delights in "giving us space" and "giving us time" to really refocus our lives. It is there in that 'space' that God gives us the sense that he is "alongside" us in our struggles. When we sense his presence, there is a renewed confidence that we shall come out on the completely opposite side of the troubling circumstances with our head held high, our minds at peace, our energies renewed, and our faith built strong. That last verse reminds us of God's unending love for us - his faithfulness to pursue us every step of the way. He "chases after us" - we don't chase after him. What a sad fact, but truth nonetheless. He is the one pursuing us - so that his love may affect us deeply and his grace may embrace us closely. We don't know the many times when God's pursuit was initiated in our lives by the "wrong turns" we took along the way, but a shepherd is ever-alert to the many wanderings of his sheep.

This is a Psalm of Life. It is about God's pursuing love, engaging us in his restorative provision, and renewing us for the next challenge we face in our day ahead. Life is found in his arms, in the nudges of his shepherd's rod, and in his quiet places of renewal and rest. Renewal is around the corner - you are being pursued - stop, listen, and behold the face of your pursuer. Take time to allow him to occupy your 'preoccupied' space a while and you might just find yourself readied to 'attack life' in a totally different manner! Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

Hey, friend me!

When we really determine to walk the pathway of a disciple, it will cost us. The pathway is not always traveled by as many of those we call "friends" as we'd like to think. Yet, when we find someone to travel with us in this journey of faith, what a blessing it is! We need each other to understand and fulfill God's calling on our lives. We each compliment the other, challenging and uplifting, learning together what is contained deep in the Word of God.

Keep me safe, O God, I've run for dear life to you. I say to God, "Be my Lord!" Without you, nothing makes sense. And these God-chosen lives all around—what splendid friends they make! (Psalm 16:1-3)

David's words ring true in the hearts of many who engage in this walk of discipleship with Christ - without you, God, absolutely nothing makes sense at all. We can attempt to make sense out of tragedy, loss, or even a success all on our own. Without God, and those he places in our lives as fellow travelers…