A Psalm 23 kind of week

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I'm having a terrible week for reasons I won't fully go into here... but suffice it to say, I was already stressed out when I called my Mother and found out that our 18 year old cat is likely going to be put down this week.


When all of my siblings and I were young, we each had a bible verse. I'm not sure why my Father assigned them as he did, but I expect they're some of his favorite verses. Not every time, but often when we would have a family devotional time, all of us would recite our verses. Mine was the 23rd Psalm, and that was the context in which I learned it. Later, when I was a teenager, someone pointed out to me that because it is such a common grave-side passage, most people associate the Psalm with death. I'd really never thought of it that way... and I still don't.

To me, the 23rd Psalm is about always being able to find strength in God. Whether you're in desperate need of it because your enemies are laying siege to your life, or just chilling out, sitting in the grass by the lake. It's also an admonishment not to worry about the things we worry about so often like food and shelter. That's in God's control too, and we just need to let him take care of it all.

As my blood pressure went from high to blow-a-gasket-high at work today, I found myself reciting the Psalm under my breath, praying for God's soothing presence, something I do much too rarely.

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 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.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD