The fourth verse I found was Psalm 23 – The Shepherd’s Psalm
Typical teen, I wanted to be part of the crowd. A sheep. But I wanted to be special too – loved enough if I was lost that the fully armored Shepherd would come and rescue me.
All that and more was already provided and planned for me.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In a previous verse of this series – John 3:16 – I was taught how God made the provision for the Lord Jesus Christ to be MY shepherd.
With that hope and knowledge within me. There is (should be) nothing more I need to complete all for which I long.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
Though Lawrence had been taught that because we often don’t know when to quit and lie down to rest, God will do what He has to in order to MAKE us rest, we came to a different conclusion.
We came to the same conclusion that Augustine did – that God MADE us to lie down in green pastures.
He placed that longing within us that only HE can satisfy. And – in order to fulfill that desire, he does the following:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He shows us where to find the quiet waters – away from the rapids of life. Places where I can be still, and listen, and have rough waters soothed.
He restoreth my soul:
To be restored we first need restoring. Yup, that is me.
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
This was also spoken of previously in this series. (How prayers of a righteous person make a difference). And so He fulfills my need in this area – going before me, instructing and guiding so that my mess can turn into His glory.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
Of course I have learned since those early ten years that what I thought was the shadow of death (concern of death for myself) could be much, much, more painful when I walk through the valley with someone I love.
Losing a child …We never truly expect that.
But either way I do not walk alone.
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
I do not have to be afraid because God is with me – and he has his rod and his staff
His rod (what the shepherd used to fight or resist attackers)
And His staff (what the shepherd used to rescue silly sheep who wandered off)
That for me was when life didn’t have to just be lived in dreams of the future – but the future became promises and the promises became my present:
I always had the hope that I would one day graduate and be able to leave home – I could get away, or so I thought.
But here, I found God had something even better and I didn’t have to wait for it:
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil;
Now – Then —in the midst of struggles, in the presence of my enemies, God prepared my victory and marks me as His.
In the presence of my enemies I am marked as His.
If this can happen – if He will keep me in a cocoon of hope during this struggle – whoa! That changes my attitude. Instead of just focusing on getting out, I can find some good now.
my cup runneth over.
And surely because the Lord is MY shepherd who created me for this rest, and who has already prepared a table of strength and sustenance for me so that I cannot contain it all
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
This ancient passage still speaks to me today. I am grateful God made the 23rd Psalm one of my foundations of faith.
What is a verse or passage that represents your foundation of faith?