“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.”
These are perhaps some of the most iconic words ever written by a shepherd turned king. It is amazing to me that a man who lived thousands of years ago could write something so profound that each subsequent generation would pass it on to the next.
“He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me.”
Maybe it is the confidence of his words. Surely this is a man who knows something of sorrow and suffering, a man who knows what it means to desperately need restoration. Yet he seems to understand that despite his circumstances, the Lord is his shepherd and so restoration is his destiny. How I long to emulate the depth of his faith.
“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 my whole life long.”
I find myself wondering how such a proclamation is even possible until it hits me. The imperative statements found throughout this Psalm begin and end with God not us. The Lord makes, the Lord leads, the Lord restores, the Lord comforts, and the Lord prepares. We are the recipients and not the other way around. I don’t know about you but I find this immensely comforting. It means that no matter our circumstances, no matter how we have made a mess of things, God is still going to be God. The Lord is now and forever our shepherd and whether we wake up in a beautiful green pasture or the deepest darkest valley, God’s got us. Our cup overflows.
Let’s pray. God, thank you for your abundant and sufficient grace and mercy which even now provide for us. May we trust in you with the confidence of our ancestor David and may we share the truth of your life-giving promises with the generations to follow. Amen.