Shepherded much?

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. (Psalm 23:1-3)

We might equate this psalm with funerals, but I tend to equate it with normal, everyday life. Why? Read it again and you will see it speaks of provision, protection, and passages - something 'dead people' no longer require! As the Lord 'shepherds' our lives, we have all that we need - nothing is outside of his provision - all good things come from his hand.

All that we need - nothing that is needed lacking, but maybe not every 'want' met. I know I have said this before, but there is a huge difference sometimes between what I need and what I want. I want the chocolate bar - I need the piece of fruit. I want the shiny new truck - I need reliable, practical transportation. Need and want are sometimes a bit hard for us to differentiate, but when God is trusted to be our provider, giving us all we need, it becomes a bit easier to separate the two.

Led into rest - nothing is more frustrating to us than to be in dire need of rest than to find we are unable to shut things off in our minds or emotions. There have been times when I have gone to bed so 'keyed up' that I found it hard to shut it all down. Emotions were running high, thoughts were whirling every which way in my mind, and there I was, tossing and turning, trying to rest, but unable to do so. Why? I wasn't letting him 'lead' me into rest. There are more than times when we need his leading in this area than we might imagine. Ask for his rest, trust him with the unsettled emotions, and let his Word invade your mind instead of all that other stuff and see how quickly rest comes.

Renewed strength and right paths - we don't need strength for the new day if we don't plan on walking down the path he lays out before us, do we? There are times when we all are bewildered about where he is leading, but I know this for sure - no path that he directed me down has ever been the 'wrong one'. The strength to walk down it wasn't even my own - it was his within me. How about you? Needing a bit of 'leading' today? Feeling like you are about to go down a path that will require 'supernatural' strength? Then just lean into him - he has already prepared the path, scouted out the best course to get us from here to there, and even gives us the strength to take each new step. Just sayin!

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