The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 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. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
When I was in high school my youth pastor led us through a study of this psalm based upon the perspective of a shepherd. It made the passage much easier to understand but the thing I remember most is how dependent sheep our on their shepherds. If we are children of God and we trust him then we truly shall never be in want. That isn’t to say that suffering won’t be a part of our life, but that is to say that God has promised he won’t leave us, because the greatest desire of our hearts is to find our fellowship in God. His love does make us lie down in green pastures and resting in his peace can lead us to still waters, even when the whole world around us seems unsteady. He restores our soul. No matter what we have been through or what we are going through, we can trust that he is going to restore us regardless of what we walk through in this life. And even his discipline is a comfort to us. It is so hard to trust that the deep trials of this life are meant for our good because when we go through them it is hard for us to see the good that can come from the suffering that we face. Yet, we know that everything we go through in this life has passed through the sovereignty of the God who loves us unconditionally.
I often write about my own struggles with Chronic pain due to arthritis, because it has been the thorn in my side that has made me see my need for God. I recently spoke with other friends regarding the suffering they face and I realize how easy it is for me and all of us to get lost in our own struggles and forgot about the struggles of others. Life is so complicated and when we try to live Godly lives and it wears us down, and even when we desire to do good often the selfishness of our hearts comes out. Sometimes it feels like our shepherd has left us because things in life aren’t working how they should. Our health isn’t what we had hoped it would be, or relationships are more difficult than they should be or our work is constantly wearing us out and it seems like things continue to get harder as times moves on, but the truth is the reason we are so exhausted is because we aren’t finding our rest in God. I often seek God when it is really rough but then take my foot off the accelerator when things get better and it seems like a constant cycle. My deepest prayer and strongest desire is to truly depend on the Lord and not myself. The truth is the Lord is good in all his ways and if we come to him with repentant hearts he will accept us. God never stops loving us and his mercy is new every day. No matter what situation you are facing give it to him and trust him. It is hard when we want things so bad to go to the Lord with open hands and tell him that we desire his will over our will, but if we are going to thrive in this life we must do that. The Lord is a good shepherd and no matter what happens in this life he will always be there for us. Trusting in him is the only we can find the joy we seek. How I wish I would just seek him consistently as I should and how often do I make excuses for giving him half-hearted effort. Yet, the person I hurt the most when I fail to seek him and love him as I should is myself. The Lord doesn’t need us but we do need him so if we want to thrive we must surrender. I would ask that all of you would pray for me because I need it. Prayer does make a difference so if you have enjoyed these devotionals please don’t forget to lift me up in prayer. God Bless.
About the Author: I am a Birmingham attorney who has been in private practice for over six years. I have a general practice, so I get the opportunity to help serve people who find themselves in some very difficult circumstances. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it encourages you. I always love getting thoughtful comments, so please email those to me. My website is www.reidlawalabama.com. If you know anyone who is going through a difficult situation whether it be legal or personal and they are in Birmingham area you can e-mail me at email@example.com. Our firm works with some excellent faith based counselors, many of whom are free or low cost. A lot of the times the legal issues people face are due to deeper underlying issues like substance abuse and other things. I have found the most effective form of treatment is getting a personally qualified counselor who helps get to the root of the issues someone is dealing with, and we will help people get connected for free (we never take a payment for referral fee for this). Again my website is www.reidlawalabama.com, which contains my contact information. God Bless.