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Peace In The Valley, In The Pasture

A FULLER HEART

“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.

He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

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.

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 forever.”

— Psalm 23

Psalm 23 is an often quoted and recited Psalm — for good reason. It provides solace, comfort and reminds us of the presence of the Lord in our lives, no matter what we face.

I, too, find comfort in these verses and find them to be beautiful. Perhaps it’s the writer in me, or maybe it because I, too, am a sinner — just as David was.

Today, when I read these verses, I wonder what event caused David to pen them. I couldn’t possibly know, but I imagine that he might have written them as a reminder to himself in the midst of dark times. Perhaps he was struggling with an issue that felt like “the valley of the shadow of death,” and felt the need to write himself a reminder that God was with him, even in the darkest of times.

Dear readers, know that I often write myself these little reminders disguised as columns. I often need to see the words on a page and really digest them before I recognize that they are true for me as well. How often I have felt far from grace, far from God and not knowing what actions to take next or how to get back? How often have we all felt this way? As it says in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

We can look at Romans 3:23 in one of two ways, in my opinion. We can either be saddened that we have sinned and did not measure up to Holy standards. Or, in another sense, we can recognize the grace and mercy of God that He knew we did not measure up to the glory of God, and take solace in the fact that He made a way to bring us to himself and make us clean.

I am so thankful today that the Lord provides us comfort and peace in times of strife, in times of our own darkness, and in times of immense sorrow.

I am thankful for the reminder today from David that the Lord is my shepherd, he walks beside me through thick and thin, and that I have hope in Christ.

Thank God David penned these verses so long ago that strike us within our hearts, bolstering our courage and lightening our load.

May your load also be lightened today, my friends – you are not alone, even if you’re in the darkest of places.

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