1The LORD is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
2He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3He renews my life;
He leads me along the right paths
for His name’s sake.
Psalms 23:1 – 3 HCSB
Even the most casual of Christians will be familiar with these verses. This section of scripture is perhaps the second most memorized and quoted in our society. How many funerals have you attended where the 23rd Psalms was read? Most likely more than you can count. Because this passage is so common, we often overlook its significance in our daily life.
Think of it, “The Lord is my shepherd”. This is an active role. A shepherd doesn’t just stand around watching the sheep. No, he herds the sheep to green pastures, he makes sure that they drink from the best springs of water. He protects them from the wild creatures that would devour them. This statement is a reminder that our God is actively involved in our lives. In those moments when we feel most vulnerable, alone and lost, the shepherd is there to comfort us.
In our daily lives it is easy to feel lost. The rush of the day, the crush of overwhelming tasks and the sense that we are all alone in our efforts crowd into our thoughts and wear us out. We are so tired that when we sleep our minds race with things left undone and issues that we have no control over causing us to be weary even after a night of sleep. We remain restless, easily startled and out of control. Yet, we have the promise of a great shepherd to calm those very stresses. Looking to Jesus as our Great Shepherd brings us peace.
“There is nothing I lack”. When we are caught up in the process of living, we look about us and wonder why I can’t have the things that “they” have. For most of us in America, we do not have to worry about our next meal or where we are going to lay our head at night. Most of those reading this post are assured of a good meal and a home to go to when the day ends. But more and more in our society there are people facing the real question of where the next meal will come from and where will I lay my head down tonight. If we search further afield, throughout the world there are whole societies that struggle just to make it one more day. In truth, it can be discouraging when we actually notice the world around us. But Christ gives us another way. When we trust fully in Him, we will lack nothing. That is not to say that our every meal is guaranteed or that we will have a roof over our head. What it is does mean is that we have assurance that God’s will is being done and no matter the hardship we face in this moment we will be provided for.
“He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.”. Though we may not have the things that this world says we need and yes, we may even be missing out on the essentials of life, we are promised one thing. We will find peace in Christ. As Corrie ten Boom wrote, “If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God, you'll be at rest.” Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who during the Nazi occupation helped hide Jews. For this crime she and her whole family were sent to a concentration camp. Even in the horrors of the death camp she looked to God and found peace. When Jesus is our focus, we find peace in our every circumstance. Is there great joy? No, not always, but there is hope and peace in His presence.
“He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake.” We live renewed lives because Jesus is doing a new thing in us. When we exhibit hope and peace to the world no matter our circumstances, the world takes notice and begins to question where does this come from. It is our opening to share Christ with others. It is such a struggle for most of us to go and “witness” to others, but when we live our lives looking to the Good Shepherd, others are drawn to us. When we put our faith in the God of all creation and truly trust that Jesus is our shepherd, we become beacons of His will for the entire earth. We are renewed in all things. We have peace, comfort, and safety in Christ.
Do not be afraid, God has provided for us a Great Shepherd who will always care for us. Look to Him in all things.
Kathy Hendrix (HCSB – Holman Christian Standard Bible)
We're Park Hill Christian Church in KC MO. We seek to follow Jesus by praising God, loving those we meet and serving the vulnerable.
6601 Northwest 72nd Street, Kansas City, MO 64151 | 816-741-1851