Within This Woman’s House
Emotions can overwhelm us sometimes. The simplest of words can lead us to a better place of understanding. There have been situations that have caught us off guard, even if logically we knew what was going on. A relationship was struggling, a parent was ill, a child was wayward, a so-called friend betrayed our trust…What source did you lean into?
During these times, most of us talk to someone who is empathetic and a good listener. Some of these people are there for a specific time in our lives, and sometimes they are friends for life. It may be that the bible always has been a comfort for you. Yet many people have not turned to a source like the word of God to bring peace and comfort. Reading and understanding is not always easy.
Psalm 23 is a reading in the bible that most people have heard. It starts like this, “The Lord is my shepherd…” A psalm was written as a sacred song or hymn used in Jewish and Christian worship. It was a cry out to God, a song of worship or praise, a singing to the most high to hear the needs of the writer.
Psalm 23 is one that can be whispered quietly to our God.
We can cry out as we walk through a valley in life.
Friends may listen. Yet nothing compares to the comfort that this psalm can bring to our soul. That is one reason why people recite it so often. Many people memorize it.
Each time we read it, the meaning may be different. Look at each verse mindfully. Ask God to add personal meaning to the psalm as it applies to your life today. Discover what it means to you and your circumstances as you read the lines David wrote many years ago.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
God will lead me in all circumstances. He will guide me in my decision making. Like a shepherd watches over his flock, my God will keep me under his watchful and loving care. Therefore I will survive whatever I am faced with at this moment in time. I will be housed, fed, clothed and loved. I will experience safety, favor and joy from the one who never slumbers. My God supplies for all of my needs.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me besides quiet waters,
As I yield to God, he creates a lovely place for me to lie down and rest. I can take a breath and relax in his Spirit. In that peaceful state, He draws me to waters that are still, quiet and pleasing to my soul. I find rest in lush grass to curl up in. I imagine a sky that envelops me in its beauty with clear bubbling waters that bring relaxation. I can trust in God to care for my well-being. There is no fear within me. All expectations are gone, for I can just “be”. All is well.
3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
In this restful presence of my God, my soul is rejuvenated and restored. If I have gone astray or my heart is heavy, God takes me by the hand. He guides me back onto the path that leads me to peace and comfort. It is a walk that brings me joy because I am safe. When I am walking beside him, I imagine his hand in mine. I can breathe the stress away for I am never alone.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
God keeps me close when I am frightened about tomorrow; even if I am afraid today. His wisdom and strength protect me - even from the thoughts that can race through my mind. “Be still” he says. There will be days when I walk through the valley of darkness. I already have done so if I will look back and remember. God heard my voice when I was afraid. My God was faithful to me then, and He will be faithful to me now.
Sometimes I stray from his presence. Yet, his rod and his staff redirect me-gently and firmly leading me back to the righteous path. No harm shall come to those he takes care of. This does not mean that I will not face challenging circumstances, even painful ones. God keeps me close so that life does not overtake me. I will stay close to my God and trust that his care is always in my best interest.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
God prepares a table before me. On that table I will find the tools to fight off darkness or enemies. The word of God will be my sword to protect me. I will not have to act in haste to get what I need to overcome. God has everything ready for me and he will prepare me for what is to come in my life.
Oil upon my head is a blessing of God’s divine favor, prosperity and joy. I will trust in the Lord always. He will anoint me with oil for staying faithful to him. Thank you God for your protection.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
As the Lord leads me along his path, I will choose to follow. Everywhere he is I want to be also. Never do I want to separate from the presence he offers to me free of charge. He takes me to the house where I can dwell. No matter what I am faced with today, I will be protected by love for the rest of my life.