Many people memorize Psalm 23 as children. This Psalm is used in movies and books, television shows and funerals. It is supposed to give comfort and peace to those moving through hard times. It is given as a pat answer to how to deal with grief.
When I look at all the different ways it is translated it brings to mind more than just comfort in time of need. It shows me a way of life that energizes my soul and moves me to action.
When I think of God as a shepherd I stumble, because I don’t really know that much about being a shepherd. But I have heard that a shepherd watches out for his flock. And God is my shepherd so he watches out for me in the same way.
He makes sure I have clean water to drink and I know how to get to it. He makes sure I have food to eat and that any bushes or plants that are poisonous are taken out of my way.
He watches over me to make sure I don’t get stuck in a scary place or that I drown in two inches of water. He makes sure that my wool coat is clean and brushed. He checks me for bugs and parasites or other things that might get stuck in my wool, or my feet.
He guides my feet so I walk in the right path. He watches me so what I think I want doesn’t distract me. He keeps me hedged in away from dangerous places.
He spends as much time and care with me as any parent would with a very small baby. He hears my cry and rushes to my side to see what is the matter. He never loses his temper because he wants to be there to help me.
He watches over me while I sleep. He provides for my every need. With him, I truly do not need anything.
He carries a club to defend against wild animals and a long pole to guide and control me. God defends against dangers and he guides me along my way.
He protects me in dark times, even when it looks like I could die, even when death surrounds me, he protects me and is with me. He holds my hand.
He keeps me safe so that even my enemies are astounded at his care for me. He lets them know that he is with me and he is on my side. He protects my good name.
He fills me with joy. He showers me with blessings. He is my God, my Savior, my salvation, my refuge, my hiding place.
Surely, and it is a sure thing that, your goodness, your kindness, your beauty, your unfailing love will be with me, will pursue me, will chase me every day of my life. And I am back home and live in the house of the Lord the rest of my life, every day, forever.