Devotional: March 20, 2020
Updated: Mar 26
The Message by Eugene Peterson
Psalms 23: God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadow, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath, and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessings.
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.
Psalms 23 is one of the most loved and identifiable chapters in the Bible. Many people have it memorized, and some recite it daily. Each part of the Psalm speaks to different travels we have experienced, and will go through, in our lives. It moves through needs, to rest, to the direction we should travel. His shepherd’s crook guides us and protects us, from the valleys we go through, to companionship, to physical nourishment, to hope in the depths of depression, to knowledge of blessings, to God’s embrace.
We have all experienced some, if not all, of those things throughout our lives. These days, we are traveling through some areas which seem inconceivable. We call this “uncharted territory.” Yet as we look at what this Psalm offers us, we can see that every life event is already mentioned in this Psalm! God promised to be with us, long before the things we encounter in our lives have ever happened.
He has already prepared the comfort, provisions, and promises we need, even when our road looks so twisted that we can’t see around the next curve. Today, and every day, there is that valley and desert, but there is also that lush meadow to take refuge in. We are not alone, even if we have been told to live alone for the time being. We pray this isolation will be brief.
The final sentence is a promise which we really long to hear. “I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life”. The house of God, our sanctuary, our church. It is very strange to not keep our routine of going to church. Last Sunday was something we have never experienced. Church was cancelled, and not because of the weather. Yet the promise at the end of this passage is that we will be back in the house of God for the rest of our lives. Right now, your home is your physical house of God. You can make it your sanctuary. Ultimately, we will worship back in our church building. Then we will rejoice with one another, as we will have walked through a valley, and are now back in the sunshine of Christian fellowship. Enjoy this beautiful day of sunshine. God’s Son is shining down on you!
Prayer for the Day
Father God, We give you thanks for your care for us, as we walk through this valley. Help us to remember, and take comfort in, your trusty shepherd’s crook. May we relish all that you provide for us: lush meadows, and cups brimming with blessings! Your beauty and love do chase after us, every day of our lives, even in the midst of “social distancing!” We pray this prayer in the name of your son, the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Amen.