The Lord is my Shepherd...
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff —
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
~ Psalm 23
Today is moving day for our family. After nearly five years of parking my car in thr same space, getting mail in the same location, and walking dogs along the same route, things are about to change.
Years ago I was often referred to as someone who was "an agent of change." I think I liked being that person, who worked hard for changes in thought, practices that served as injustices, and simply pushing to move a pendulum that seemed to be often stuck.
That, however, has changed as I have grown older. While now I tend to write more letters than protest publicly in demonstrations, I seem to avoid those who seem to be angry all the time, I find that now I turn to scriptures that I know that bring me comfort and resolution in my soul.
Don't get me wrong, I still like a good challenge every now and then, but when the encounter will bring about change like today's move, I find that the words of the 23rd Psalm help to remind me the "The Lord is my Shepherd, and I shall not want."
If I were truly honest with myself, I would quickly realize that each day is about allowing God to have control. A shepherd leads, and sometimes, pushes the flock to where it needs to be.
This move has been a lot of things for myself and my family. There have been those moments where we have felt lead, and those moments, perhaps like today, where we may find that we must "push through."
I'm grateful for a God who understands me enough to know what I need in each of these cases.
While many of us may think of the 23rd Psalm being read at the end of life, or a funeral, it is also a reminder that it is a Psalm for daily living, with a reminder that through all circumstances God is ready to care for us when we finally surrender to that leading.
Ultimately we will discover goodness and mercy through all of these days and circumstances. It is the promise of being present in a place that has not been just created for you, but because of you and the love that God has for us, that makes it all worth while.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.