Wednesday 01 Sep
Scott's reading Psalm 23 for the next 23 days. Will you join him?
Join the 23 for 23 challenge! from Global Interaction on Vimeo.
We’re living in stretching times, with extended lockdowns and ongoing restrictions. Many people I have chatted with in recent weeks have described the physical and emotional weariness of living in this long pandemic season.
In such a time, I have been seeking to daily re-affirm God’s presence with me. I have been reading Psalm 23 each day, reminding myself of the Shepherd’s presence and peace.
It is helping me to pause, catch my breath, regain perspective and tangibly remind myself that the Good Shepherd is with me - here and now
– in the midst of all of life.
Let me invite you to breathe that truth in afresh in your soul today. Pause now and give heart assent to the reality that the Good Shepherd is with you now
, with his staff to guide you and his rod to protect you.
I have been encouraged recently by Louis Giglio’s challenge of how we cultivate an “even though, I will”
A faith like Habakkuk:
Even though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
Even though the olive crop fails, and the fields produce no food,
Even though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to tread on the heights.
Habakkuk embraces the ‘even thoughs’ all around him with a ‘I will’ faith, because of the reality of God’s presence in his life. He holds on to faith, with the promise of presence, the presence of the Sovereign Lord, despite the circumstances.
We see the same thing in Psalm 23 in words that will be so familiar to many of us.
“Even though I walk through the darkest of valleys, I will not be afraid… ”
Most of us know what comes next in this verse. Maybe the words have become too familiar, and they have lost their power.
“Even though I walk through the darkest of valleys, I will not be afraid …
“For you are with me.”
“For you are with me.”
“For you are with me!”
I am reminded that the Lord is with me in my weariness, fatigue, disappointments, frustrations and uncertainties of this season. He is also with me as I look to seize ministry opportunities – small and large – in the midst of the pandemic.
I am reminded the Good Shepherd doesn’t lead me into dark valleys. He leads me through them!
I am finding it so helpful to speak these words over my life each day in this season, so here’s a challenge we could all take up. Let’s call it ‘23 for 23’.
Let me encourage you to join me in reading Psalm 23 each day for the next 23 days.
Maybe you would like to join me? Put a tab in your Bible at the psalm, or print it out, take a screen shot, put it on your fridge! Read it each day, slowly. Take the psalm with you as you get in your lockdown exercise. Breathe in the promises. Focus on a different verse. Let the Spirit speak to you in your context and circumstances.
Feel free to drop me a line and let me know of how God’s Spirit uses the experience.
Louis Giglio comments: “When we’re living with the reality that the Shepherd is with us now, we don’t need to pray, ‘God I need your help in this storm’. But rather with expansive faith we can pray, ‘God thank you that you are in this storm with me’.”
We all face different ‘even thoughs’
in our life. The pandemic has thrown us even more of these.
In the midst of our ‘even thoughs’, may we hold fast to ‘I will’, reminding ourselves that in whatever we face or feel, we are not bereft. The Good Shepherd is here to lead us through dark valleys. Our Emmanuel God is with us now!
“I will rejoice in the Lord; I will be joyful in God my Saviour. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to tread on the heights.”
Grace and peace
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