Although Psalm 23 was written about three thousand years ago it can still speak to our hearts. We take a fresh look at each line and what it means to us today.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
On my own I wander through life, trying different things to make me feel happy and fulfilled but when I put my trust in God He will provide everything that I need.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He helps me to stop and look around at all the good things that he has given me, my friends, my family, my home and to appreciate all the blessings that I have received.
He leads me beside still waters; He restores my soul.
24/7 my senses are bombarded with information, music, adverts, video games, TV and films. I fill my life with distractions but I need to stop occasionally and remember that I am a child of God. I need the silence of prayer to turn back to my loving Father, who is waiting with His arms outstretched to welcome me back.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
We have so many choices to make in our lives, especially when we are young. How can I know that I am making the right decision? If I allow God to lead me then I can be confident that even if I mess things up and make the wrong decision then God will show me and lead me back to the right path.
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.
If I trust in God He will protect me and give me the strength to get through difficult times. Sometimes our problems can seem overwhelming but nothing is impossible for God. The shepherd uses his rod to beat off any wild animals and his staff to pull back the sheep who have wandered away from the flock. In the same way God will protect me when I am threatened or under attack and He will gently bring me back when I try to go the wrong way.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Imagine that you are invited as guest of honour by your favourite football team, band, film star or celebrity to a banquet given in your honour. It is a magnificent party and you are seated on the top table with the other important people. All the other guests would know that there is something very special about you. This is how God feels about me, I am the guest of honour at His table. In God’s eyes I am like a king or a queen, whose head has been anointed with oil, and He will bless me until my cup of blessings overflow. There is no limit to His generosity.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
God is on my side and He loves me so much that there is no need for me to worry about tomorrow and what it will bring. God will always love me and He will continue to bless and protect me throughout my life and beyond.
Lord, I am like a lost sheep wandering in a dry barren land. I am thirsty and hungry, looking for something that will satisfy my soul. Please come and be my shepherd. Guide me, protect me and feed me. I give my life into your hands today. Show me your way Lord and lead me to everlasting life. I know that you are the Good Shepherd, who laid down His life for me, His beloved sheep, and I trust in your love and protection. Amen