psalm 23

psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores 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.

I read this psalm and I imagine David, as he’s writing/singing/praying this to his Almighty God, taking a long, deep breath and settling into a seat with his favorite view of the countryside in front of him.

I picture David realizing – for the first time, or even being reminded yet again – that all his striving and working and laboring doesn’t matter. That he is safe and secure because he belongs to the Lord.

I picture him reminding himself that it is the Lord who has done all the great things in his life.

I picture David doing this, because that’s what I’m doing. I’m breathing deep, taking all of God in and being reminded that the end of me is where He can step in and fill up. That it is there where my cup overflows.

Recently my church held a discipleship cohort where we discussed Bible reading and study, asking questions of the text to better know God and know ourselves through Scripture. The last question we ask is: What do I need to hear?

And tonight, my answer? That the Lord leads me beside still waters. He settles me. He draws me in and fills the space that only He can fill. He restores the broken parts in ways only He can restore.

I do nothing.
He does it all.

I work for nothing.
His work is complete.

So, for His name’s sake, I’m going to cling to that and live in the freedom of knowing that the Just and Justifier has called me His and redeemed me by the blood of His Son on the cross. And because of Jesus, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

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