Monday, April 29, 2013

Feeling Overwhelmed? Read Psalm 23

The twenty-third Psalm has to be one of the most familiar passages to--well, just about anyone. It's so often heard quoted at funerals and consequently used in those types of scenes in television shows and movies. So, even someone who may not be familiar with the Bible has probably heard this verse. It's really quite a shame that it's been relegated to funerals, though. The text is so rich and relatable to every day life!

Last weekend this psalm came to mind as a multitude of concerns bombarded my thoughts. April has been a difficult month for friends and family. I've had sick friends, others having surgery, some have had tragic deaths or near-deaths. There have also been a few horrific events which have made the headlines. I have a "threshold" of just how many pressurized events I can process at one time before feeling overwhelmed. I get to a point of wanting to "Cry Uncle." Is that just me or does anyone else feel that way? When it gets like that, I just keep thanking God that He never gets overwhelmed by these circumstances. He's got it all under control.

When I thought of this psalm, the line that came to my mind over and over was verse four. I memorized this psalm in the King James version, so I heard this in my head...

Yea, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff 
they comfort me.

But, rather than thinking about this as a funeral verse, I pondered what David was really saying here. Basically, he is saying that no matter what--NO. MATTER. WHAT.--is going on all around him, he has absolutely no reason to fear the evil happening. Why? Because God is there.

I took great comfort in that verse several times this weekend. And to punctuate all of that comforting goodness, God decided to bless me with a few more reminders of this great Psalm. Two of my favorite Bible teachers posted about it on their Facebook pages today! So, I just have to share this quote from Tony Evans,

"It's 'yea, though I walk through the valley.' 
Not 'yea, when I sit down and whine in the valley.' Keep walking."

So, take a few moments and read this psalm with fresh eyes. Think about the love and care of aShepherd, for His beloved sheep (that's me and you). And even when we're in a dark valley, even when the news around us goes from bad to worse, we can talk to our Shepherd about it and He willingly and lovingly comfort us. He will lead us and renew our strength.  


Psalm 23... A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
New Living Translation


Kristi said...

Psalm devotionals are a great way to start the day.

Kristi said...

I agree, Faye. I try to read a Psalm each morning. Thank you for the comment.