Devotional Thought of the Day:
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3 (NKJV)
12 Let obstacles only make you bigger. The grace of our Lord will not be lacking: Inter medium montium pertransibunt aquae!—“Through the very midst of the mountains the waters shall pass.” You will pass through mountains! What does it matter that you have to curtail your activity for the moment, if later, like a spring which has been compressed, you’ll advance much farther than you ever dreamed?
There are times I read Psalm 23 and I wonder where the still, restful waters are, the places where peace, where it seems that the green peaceful pastures are not easily found. For it seems my soul isn’t “restored”, instead, I find my life to be one that is weary, harried, and in great need.
So what happened?
Are those words only for King David and/or really devout believers?
Are they for most Christians, and not for me?
Are they just words on a piece of paper, and not the word of God?
There is a question that I haven’t asked, but I need to ask.
Is it possible that He is here, that He is leading me where He would, guiding me, protecting me, delivering me from the evil I fear?
I’ve been through times where I don’t know God is there too many times in life. Where the stress is too distracting, where the concerns seem too overwhelming, to serious, and I cannot see the Spirit at work, I don’t feel the comfort that is promised. I just see the shadows, I just know the evil that is lurking there.
I want to break through the stress, I want to learn to fight it, to be strong in my faith and face the storm head on…
And then, in such a time, I need to realize the point that St Josemaria makes, the grace of our Lord will not be lacking.
I don’t have ot wield the rod and staff, instead, I can realize that my Shepherd does. That God’s grace will provide, and that provision includes the comfort. For there are the meadows and streams, but the valleys exist as well.
He is there.. He is here.
He is here.
That’s what I need to gain by working through the 23rd Psalm. Though my mind wants to struggle with what I can’t see, I need to grow in my ability to know what is promised is the reality. And as I do, my faith, put under pressure, is finally released, the energy released being spent in praise and adoration of the Lord, my shepherd, my protector, my God.
Lord, have mercy on us, and help us to see that which is revealed to us in Your word. AMEN!
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 191-195). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
(I write this blog from our first night of our elders retreat…where the theme comes from Zeph 3:17. Please, if you like my thoughts – press like either here on on FB or G+ Or engage the concept in discussion below… I love to know I am doing this for someone besides myself)
17 Your GOD is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs.
If God is our God, if Jesus reigns over us, the question is whether we will walk with Him, within a intimate relationship, while still letting Him maintain the responsibility in our lives. It is a interesting balance, but my recent devotions and readings, and even this retreat, seem to be focusing not on our responsibility as His servants, but rather, on His responsibility to us – what He commits Himself to accomplish in and for us.
This verse, like those we love to hear – Psalm 46:10 and Psalm 23 – are incredible intimate looks at God’s determination to be our Lord, our Master, to reign over our lives, as He cares for us. I love the power exhibited in this verse, the force that God commits to have our back, to calm us, and even beyond – to bring us delight – to create within us great joy.
The question is, can we free ourselves from the idols that would distract us from His calming influence, would we focus on Him rather than that which controls us with fear, or tempts us with thoughts of temporary escapes into pleasure. And that struggle to free us brings us to the point. Will we let God be God?
Can we realize that He has already broke the chains that our idols ensnared us?
He has… we are freed – to walk with Him, our Lord, our Savior, the One who comes to us,
Be calmed – find delight in His celebration of His rescuing you…