This is probably the most familiar of all psalms, wouldn’t you agree? Do you remember the first time you heard it? I remember hearing it at my grandfather’s funeral when I was ten years old. That was quite a while ago! It was soothing then, and it is soothing now. The lines, though familiar, can create such a picture from the rich descriptions. Green is certainly a color that seems to wash over me as I read this psalm.
This psalm is used frequently at funerals or in times of need. It brings such comfort because we are reminded that God is with us. Just the thought of God guiding me brings with it a peaceful serenity. We don’t need to have worry because God will provide for us. I love this image of Jesus being close, holding his sweet little lamb.
Are you struggling with something right now? Take a moment to think through those obstacles, and then read each line of this psalm twice more. After the first time, pause briefly to picture your struggle or obstacle, and then read the line again. Let God’s goodness cleanse you so that you can feel comfort in God’s Word in a different way today.
Some of my favorite lines from this psalm are:
- “I have everything that I need.” Wants and needs are different. Sure there are things I want, but what I truly “need” has been supplied in abundance. Thank you God!
- “He renews my strength.” I feel totally refreshed when I trust in God’s provision. True peace. My strength definitely comes from the Lord. One of my favorite life verses is Philippians 4:13, “For I can do everything through Christ,[a] who gives me strength.” I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve relied on that truth in the midst of a trial or sticky situation.
- “I will not be afraid for you are close beside me.” I love picturing Jesus walking beside me through the day. He probably gets bored some days, but when I’m facing worry, sadness, confusion, or even dread, Jesus is already there, ready to take my fear.
- “And I will live in the house of the Lord forever.” This is my final destiny and great reward. I look forward to the day when I will see Jesus face to face. Sometimes I feel unworthy of such grandeur, but Jesus paid the price for all our sins.
This psalm is so full of promise. God gives us a great example here of being a caring shepherd. He is shepherding us! As followers we need to be obedient and grateful and stay on the path he has designed for us. I imagine sheep following their beloved shepherd. It appears they do so out of devotion and trust. That’s how we need to approach the throne of God.
Let’s pray. Lord, what do you have for me to do, please reveal yourself. I don’t just want to go through the motions of life but want to serve where you want me to serve, love who you want me to love, and be bold in my devotion to you. Give me the tools to do your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.