Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord

Slowly read each verse line by line. Take time to imagine yourself experiencing the green pastures and still waters. Imagine His protection over you when the darkness comes and conflict arises. Imagine Him exalting you above your enemies. Imagine living in the house of the LORD forever.

Now, reread the passage again and compare each verse to your everyday current reality. Did you have any difficulty picturing yourself within these verses? Does your life reflect the peace and comfort that accompanies an intimate relationship with God? What did your heart and mind reveal?

Perhaps you have turned to material comforts and circumstantial peace. Maybe you feel weighed down in the presence of your adversaries. It could be that you have lost your hope in God’s goodness when considering the state of the world today or the heaviness of your personal circumstances.

May you be challenged this week to make Psalm 23:1-3 your personal prayer. May it transform your perception towards your personal circumstances, renew your mind, and remind you of God’s goodness and favor towards His children.

You are securely held, protected, and cared for by our heavenly Shepherd (Isaiah 40:11, Psalm 9:9, Psalm 46:1, Joel 3:16, 2 Samuel 22:2-3, Hebrews 13:6).