“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort and console me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed and refreshed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell forever in the house and in the presence of the Lord.”
As a little girl, I had a watercolor painting of this scripture passage hanging over my bed. It was full of beautiful flowers, lovely pastel colors, and a little girl walking through a peaceful meadow. She was full of peace and full of life. I would look at it each night before bed. Without realizing that this truth was going deep down into my heart! To me, Psalm 23 represents the path to peace and freedom so beautifully. When we know who we are in Christ and who HE is, we can rest in that truth. We can rest in knowing that He is our Good Shepherd.
The simple yet profound truths from this chapter are LIFE words. Words to get lodged deep down in your heart, foundational words. So many times, in my life, I have had to come back to these truths. As I sit down to write this, life is swirling on all around me. The calendar is full. The minutes fly by each day. The speed of life seems to increase by the hour! When I start to feel overwhelmed, or trapped in the midst, I always know that I need to reset my thoughts and get back to the place of Truth. And I always come here. Psalm 23.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”
Ok, the Word says I have all I need.
“He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.”
His paths are not overwhelming! He leads me into peace!
“He refreshes and restores my soul (life).”
This is a big one! When I am feeling bound up, I know I need to get back to trusting and letting Him lead me. He will always meet me there and bring peace to my soul. He is faithful.
“Even though I walk through the valley” (and in this life, there will be many), I will not fear!
He is with me. Protecting me. Guiding me. Bringing me comfort and consolation.
These are some huge truths! Even though things may not look how I think they should, even though I feel overwhelmed, even though something sad or unforeseen has happened, I will not fear. For He is here, and He will still my heart and restore my soul if I fix my eyes on Him. On the unseen. All of my days are laid out, and He has good things for me. His thoughts and ways are higher than mine- wilder! He dreams for me, dotes over me, cherishes me, longs to give me a life of freedom. He is my Good Shepherd. It’s like a big giant hug of peace that will cover you all of your days. This truth produces rest, joy, peace, and freedom in this life. As you rest in this you will truly blossom. Your true self will begin to shine out and beam from your heart right out into this big beautiful world! Freedom will come.
Turning your thoughts to Truth, along with having a heart of gratefulness brings true freedom. The life-changing kind. It will turn things upside down, bathe your days in rainbow colors, your eyes and heart will begin to sparkle and shine, and you will dance through all of your days, even the rough ones.
Just like the little girl in the meadow in my painting.
She was free because she knew her Shepherd, and that He was there with her. The final truth in this passage,
“Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell forever in the house and in the presence of the Lord.”
Wow. Remain in Him.
Stay in the meadow with Him.
And you will find your rest and freedom there. The fruit of the Spirit and His truth will burst into your life, and you will just shimmer and shine all over the place!
Jesus, I thank you that you are my Good Shepherd. And that you love me and take care of me. Thank you that you have a giant hug of peace for me each day. Thank you for healing and restoring my soul and mind. Thank you for freedom. You are my peace and my safety. I fix my eyes on you and your truth. Thank you for your unfailing love, and that your goodness and mercy shall follow me all of my days!