The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
Amidst the weighted darkness and physical pain of sorrow, I am ultimately lacking for nothing because I am in Christ and I have not been abandoned.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters.
The places where I "do life" do not feel peaceful, beautifully lush, or refreshing. I’m anxious, sad, overwhelmed, disoriented, BUT He can still give me rest and renewal because His Spirit dwells within me.
He restores my soul.
There is refreshment even in the darkness and pain...because of WHO God is. I may not see His hand nourishing and renewing, but He promises to meet me. Like a divine balm on my seemingly countless soul-wounds, He restores. Restoration is His loving trade.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
I am being continually led for the sake of His glory and plan. There is much mystery along this dark, depleting path, but tucked within the promise of being led, there is the promise of never being alone.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
When my eyes burn with the lonely tears of grief, when I don’t know how to walk or crawl forward in the shadows...even then, I will not fear.
For YOU are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
As I pass over the thresholds of each room in my house, as I drive, cook, work, study, sing, and weep. You, O my God, are with me. Your rod and your staff are legitimate stability as my days are immersed in fragility. YOU, LORD, are comfort when nothing else is.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.
The guests that I see at my table are: grief, disillusionment, anxiety, misunderstanding, anguish, exhaustion, loneliness. BUT at the table which the Lord has set, in the presence of these, my enemies, I am poured-out-upon with grace by the GOD who sees me. The cup of my heart overflows knowing that my life’s story is being written by a most loving, wise Author.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
I will, someday, walk away from this dark, feeble season of life and see how GOD my Father was knitting me deeper into the depths and intricacies of His heart. His goodness and mercy will steadily illuminate my days. When I think of heaven and of being in His house, I will rejoice in ways I didn't ever understand before these days of being brought so low.
Gwenyth Ray is a wife to Andrew, a homeschool mother of four fantastic daughters, and a lover of words. She has walked through many dark valleys and ultimately lives on because of Christ in her, the Hope of glory. Her personal application of Psalm 23 was inspired by her late father, David Powlison, and originally written to encourage her home congregation at Truth Point Church in West Palm Beach, FL. Steve interviewed David here.