As our family prepares for another grand detour, I seek comfort in these familiar words, “He leads me in the path of righteousness for His namesake” (Psalm 23:3). Today’s blog post is straight from my journal— my heart-felt response to each line to this famous Psalm. I hope it brings comfort to you.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
God is my shepherd and guide, He will provide for my every need.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
God forces me to rest while the world scurries around.
He leads me beside still waters.
God provides a serene backdrop while quenching my thirsty soul with peace.
He restores my soul;
I surrender my daily chronic pain to my Shepherd. As I listen to my Shepherd’s voice and seek rest in Him, my soul is restored by the promises found in His Word.
He leads me in the path of righteousness for His namesake.
My Lord and Shepherd knows my final destination. He has carved out a new path through the desert of physical pain, financial loss, and emotional toil. Even through I cannot see the outcome of my illness, I trust my Shepherd to guide me along the narrow and traitorous paths. Detours upon detours, I trust my Guide remembering to walk by faith not by sight.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
The dark valley of chronic illness lurks with pain, regret, grief, and loss (of my career, identity, and friends who don’t know who to respond to my illness.)
I will fear no evil; for You are with me;
You promise to “never leave me nor forsake me” (Hebrews 13:5) and in Isaiah you claim me “You are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You fight off the Enemy and You drag me away from the Enemies traps to doubt your love, trust, and provision.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You prepare a banquet feast and I am surrounded by joy, hope, faith, mercy, provision, and compassion. The Enemy prowls around my table, waiting for an empty spot at my table, but I refuse to rise from God’s banquet table. I lean back, praising God for His goodness to me during this difficult time and discover…
You anoint my head with oil;
Liquid blessing drips down my face symbolizing I have been hand chosen by God for this assignment to tell of all His good deeds.
My cup runs over.
As I keep my eyes on You and listen to Your voice, I am continually filled to overflowing with hope, joy, compassion, faith, mercy, and Your provision. I am amply supplied and I can share with others from my excess.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;
Goodness and mercy follow me like a spiritual shadow reminding me I am never alone from God’s presence.
When my assignment on earth is complete, I will forever rest in heaven. My chronically ill body will be replaced by a disease free me, full of vitality and praise. Until then, I will seek God’s chronic presence amidst my chronic illness. Amen.
~April Dawn White © 2017
Psalm 23 NKJV