Psalm 23 is well-known for good reason. It is extraordinary. It was written by David. You know: David and Goliath, David and King Saul, David and Jonathan, King David, ancestor of Jesus. That David.
I recently wrote about the challenge men face in being the provider for their families. Actually, I declared that a lie for those in Jesus’ care. Jesus is the provider.
Here’s another point that you might read over when studying this psalm. Let’s read verses 1-4.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Verse 4 is famous. In the King James Version Bible translation, it is written “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”. This is such powerful, descriptive language that we immediately focus on that valley and reflect on our own canyon (you may even be in one right now).
Let’s focus on just one word for now: walk. That’s a surprising word if you’ve found yourself in the darkest valley. It actually sounds ridiculous. Our inclination is certainly not to walk through that pain; we want to run! We want to leave it behind, move on, escape. God, please deliver me from this trial… now!
David teaches us that even though we will face difficult, maybe even impossible, circumstances, God is such a caring shepherd (caregiver, provider, guide) that we can trust Him to walk with us through those times of struggle. In fact, it is typically these difficult times when we learn to truly trust God and mature in our faith.
If you are in your darkest valley, here is a prayer for you to offer to your loving Father.
God, even though I am in the most difficult time in my life, I will not fear. I will have peace because I trust you. I trust you so completely that I will walk, not run, forward. You are with me and that is my protection and comfort. Thank you for this circumstance. Guide me and teach me. I am listening. Amen.
I am sorry that you are suffering, but I know that God is bigger than what you are facing. Walk with Him.