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When You Know You Are Smack Dab In The Middle


bridge

Here we are at the end of our little series on Psalm 23.

Last verse.

I know that going through these verses slowly and savoring just the tiniest bites of this richly flavored passage has only increased my desire for more.

I find myself craving to know my Shepherd even better.  To trust Him even more than I did yesterday.  To lean even closer into everything He offers of Himself and His love.

I hope you experienced something similar. 🙂

***Here is how I now see Psalm 23: I underlined what our Shepherd does for us and bold face typed what we can enjoy because of who He is and what HE does for us.

(Because) THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD, I lack nothing.    

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside quiet waters,

He refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.

(Therefore), even though I walk through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

your rod and your staffthey comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

(And….for the finale….)

v.6 – Surely Your goodness and love will FOLLOW me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

What a great ending to such rich prose filled with so much promise.

His goodness and love will follow you and me FOR THE ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES!

Those two attributes of God will be our constant companions, shadowing our every move.

Following us.

They have our backs.

Picture this –

Our Shepherd walks before us doing all the things that David mentions throughout the first five verses of this Psalm:

 – Providing for us

 – Giving us rest

 – Restoring us

 – Guiding us

 – Comforting us

 – Protecting us

 – Blessing us

All of these things are done in preparation before we get to the next step on our path of following Him. He has gotten there before us and made every provision we need before we even know what’s coming.

Wow.  He really must love us.

You would think that would be enough.

We are led and fed.

But our Jesus is so much more gracious than that.  He is so much more understanding of our fears and frailties.

He knows that there will be times when we are walking with Him that we will look behind us.  When we are afraid of the future and long to go back to where we came from.

Times when the past jeers at us, labeling us with names we were never meant to wear.

We know that there is a “roaring lion” out there who often sneaks up behind us, “seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Our PROTECTION against these enemies of progress and growth and life that lurk behind us, is staring at us in Psalm 23:6 –

 Surely your GOODNESS and LOVE will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The goodness of God, the love of God (both definitive of who He is), FOLLOWS us.

Like our own shadow.

Constant.

Quiet.

There even when we can’t see it or aren’t looking for it.

Great protectors of our backs.

Mighty warriors for our souls.

David wrote another Psalm that shows us again what that looks like.  He is to beginning to get his head around this immense beauty and learning to trust its truth:

Psalm 139:5-10

You hem me in BEHIND AND BEFORE,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.

We know that God is FOR us (Romans 8:31) but do we really understand that He, as our ever-present, ever-attentive Shepherd is both BEHIND us AND BEFORE us?

Face this new day and all of its surprises and challenges as a day that was PREPARED FOR YOU. Remember that He has PREPARED YOU for it, too.

HIS GOODNESS AND LOVE FOLLOW YOU AS HIS WISDOM AND FORESIGHT LEAD YOU.

Which, of course, puts you smack dab in the middle of the safest place on earth.

And that’s a very good place to be….

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One thought on “When You Know You Are Smack Dab In The Middle

  1. Your Aunt Connie has shared your blog with us in our neighborhood Bible Study, and I can’t thank you enough. You brighten my day and bring Jesus so close to me in such a beautiful yet intense way. I’m looking forward to future posts.

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