Our pastor taught on the 23rd Psalm today. Well, really, he taught on the first verse of Psalm 23. "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want." He shared a story of a little girl who was reciting the Psalm, but she said, "The LORD is my shepherd; and that's all I want!"
Over 10 years ago, I attended a Women's Conference with a dear friend of mine. We were able to see Marilyn Meburg in a small setting. She taught on the 23rd Psalm. I remember my dear friend realizing for the first time that the Psalm did not say, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shouldn't want anything." A verse that was meant to bring her ultimate comfort... had always been more of a command that she wasn't even sure how to fulfill.
Our pastor encouraged us that this Psalm shows how we are recipients of God's provision, peace, protection and presence. But then he crossed the line... he gave us a challenge! He said if we would read the 23rd Psalm five times a day for the next 7 days, it would change our lives.
We are to read it slowly, meditatively, prayerfully... reading different versions. When we wake up before we get out of bed, at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and at bedtime. He said it would increase our coping skills, help with our relationships, and deepen our walk with God. Sound too simple? Maybe it is too simple. But if you knew something could change your life for the better... would you do it? Or would you question it? Would you say it's too good to be true? Would you say that you've tried it before? But really... have you? 5x a day? for 7 days?
I'm going to take the challenge and find out for myself. How about you? Are you ready to move beyond knowing The Shepherd's Psalm? Are you ready to know The Shepherd?
1The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
4Yea, though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life: and
I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.