“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul. . .
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. . .
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23)
This Psalm may be one of the best-known ones in the Bible. I’ve heard it many times, but today it brought a message that comforted me in a new way.
The last few weeks have been tough as I’ve really battled the depression that seems to be a regular part of my chronic pain. This time it seemed harder to rise above it, or maybe it just lasted a lot longer. I think I should handle it better each time as I’ve been there before, but it doesn’t seem to matter, it’s still hard.
As I listened to this Psalm being read today, I thought of the Lord “restoring my soul.” After these weeks of struggle, I have a soul in need of restoration. I feel tired after what seems like a continual battle, and the offer to rest and be quiet, sounds wonderful.
The Psalm goes on to promise that even when I feel so stuck in “the valley of” –depression, in this case. I don’t have to fear because the Lord is with me, comforting me. It matters to me that God sees me there in the mess my life seems at the time, but I don’t have to fear that I face it alone. I am protected and comforted.
When I consider the future, it’s hard to believe that “goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” I know I’ll probably face this kind of depression again–so how can that be good–especially if it’s ongoing, “all the days of my life”?
This Psalm reminds me that even though I may have to struggle in this life, I have an eternity awaiting me, with the Lord. Eternity will last a lot longer than this life. Our momentary pain will be but a blip on God’s timeline.
Prayer: Father, I’m so grateful You understand those times when I struggle and You promise to restore my soul and bring me through, again and again if necessary. Help me to see the tough times in light of the eternity I will spend with You. Amen.
About the Author:
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful for the difference God makes in her life, and the lessons He is teaching her, as she lives with chronic back pain. She enjoys finding time for reading, writing, and photography, and to travel when she is able. You can contact her in the Sunroom.
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What helps you to get up and face the trials again? When they continually wear away at your strength, do you rely on God’s strength instead? Does eternity give you hope to face that next blip?