This is the first passage I ever memorized from the Bible. I was working summer camp and needed a way to pass time, so I chose something well-known and easy, not really knowing its impact on me. I find myself clinging to these words more and more.
First, I’m given an identity. The Lord is my shepherd and I am the thing He shepherds – that’s all I need to know. He leads, and I follow. Therefore, my needs are secure and my purpose is defined. (v. 1-3)
Secondly, I am guaranteed difficult circumstances. The valley of the shadow of death sounds horrifying, but because He is with me, I am comforted. In the midst of this, He even prepares a table for me and anoints my head with oil. Not only that, but I know that everywhere He leads me is for His name’s sake, therefore my benefit, too. Amazing. (v. 4-5)
Lastly, I am guaranteed that the Lord will lovingly pursue me forever. Mercy and grace are following me for all of my days, even when I’m messing up. I can be assured by His promises, not by my own actions, that we won’t be separated. (v. 6)
I get bogged down pretty easily by future plans, relationships, and even ministry. Life can be overwhelming. But when I read this, it reminds me that everything really is simple, though not to be confused with easy. God created us for Him, more specifically to enjoy Him. Jesus said this was the greatest commandment, to love God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds (Mat. 22:37).
Lord, You are my shepherd, and You paid it all to make it happen. Let me not deny You or others this miracle. I love You.
By: Dylan Jones