The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters, he restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23
The 23rd Psalm is probably one of the best-known passages in the Bible. Most of us memorized it as a child and it serves as a loving reminder that God is always with us, even in death. What peace, comfort, and assurance these beautiful words can bring us during times of despair.
Perhaps one reason it is so loved is because it is so deeply personal to each of us – as we repeat the words, “The Lord is MY Shepherd”. Those simple words remind us that He does care about each one of us and He is always with us. We live in such an uncertain world, and any day can bring disaster or unexpected events. And generally, it is the unknown, the unexpected that frightens us the most. But nothing can quiet our souls like knowing that our Shepherd is near to care for us.
As we repeat this prayer, we can feel safe and secure in His arms and know there is nothing else we need or desire. Our Lord is with us. He meets all our needs. We may stumble or fall or even become helpless, but He will always be patient, tender, and loving, and will pick us up and lead us on the right path. He will carry us through the deepest valleys of despair.
To those of us who are his sheep, His authority, power, strength, guidance, peace, and love are such a comfort. He knows our sorrows and takes care of us. No matter what happens in our lives, we know that “His goodness and mercy will follow us and we will dwell with him forever. ”
Dear Lord, how grateful we are that we don’t have to wander through this life alone. We thank you for being our shepherd – for guiding us and protecting us from becoming overburdened by the cares of this world. We thank you for your love, comfort, and saving grace. Amen