If the Lord is my shepherd, can I really trust in him? The familiar words of the twenty-third psalm answer this question and can resonate during times of uncertainty. The Lord paints a portrait of what it’s like to be wholly dependent on him. The Lord is not just my Shepherd; he is my caregiver.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
The Old Testament description of God as our Shepherd seems to be lost in today’s culture. We are predominantly city-dwellers who are wrapped up in modern technology. We live in an age of affluence and comfort. Many needs are taken care of both conveniently and quickly.
The disease of affluence leaves a parched soul that always hungers and thirsts for more. It’s hard to wrap our arms around the promise that I ought to lack nothing!
What is it like to rest in God?
What does it mean to trust that he will provide – to be fully dependent upon him to take care of our needs?
True contentment. A refreshed soul.
Instead, our human nature is drawn to more. Instead of hungering and thirsting for righteousness, we go to the fountain of treasures and other idols to satisfy our deepest needs.
We need portraits of Christ’s completed work that includes a promise to refresh our soul.
We need Christ to remind us, “I lack nothing!”
Christ has done it all…. what more do I need?
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
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.
Halloween is not helping.
Concerned about the upcoming presidential election and how well it’s exposing our conflicts, distrust, and general bad manners, I can’t help to think that our nation is heading down a path with disastrous consequences.
The celebration of demons and ghouls last night did not bring me ease.
And then I receive a picture of our new granddaughter. I begin to pray. Lord, have mercy. Not for my sake. But for hers.
God, our caretaker, knows there are dark valleys that lie ahead and he wants people who are wholly dependent on him to trust that he will guide us. For his purpose. For his glory. Evil does not come close to those who bask in his presence, abide by his Word, or bask under his authority. His rod and staff are there to provide protection and comfort.
And maybe right now God does not have us in a place of still waters and green pastures. That day is coming. He just wants to make sure that we are part of his fold. He desires for us to remain in him – even when days seem dark and evil persists.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
We sometimes forget that we are living in a world of sin. Evil exists and problems will not go away.
By trusting in God’s promises, he takes ownership of us. While enemies loom and tower over us, casting scary shadows of what could or might be that breeds worrisome and anxious thoughts, the Lord acknowledges the presence of evil by preparing a table before them. It seems that the Lord does this in a taunting way. It’s like saying, “They are mine and you can’t touch them!”
He anoints, preserves, and provides all that we need.
At the table he prepares and I am refreshed.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The Lord is my caretaker and I lack nothing.
His presence lurks, follows, guides, and protects.
What is it like to rest in God?
What does it mean to be wholly dependent on him?
Our soul feasts on his means of grace in the presence of evil. Our trust remains in his presence that bears the fruit of peace, joy, patience, and self-control – no matter what happens around us.
For our eyes remain steadfast on his promises.
We don’t wait eagerly to dwell in his house forever – because we are already with him.
What about you? What is like to rest in God? Especially during these past few weeks. I look forward to hearing your answers.
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