Many are familiar with the 23rd Psalm. I can remember memorizing this as a child many years ago.
- The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
- He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
- he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
- 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.
- You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
- Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
This passage is certainly a pretty cool description of God’s faithfulness as Israel’s King David experienced it. Have you experienced God’s faithfulness? I know we have, especially as we enjoy our retirement trusting in God’s faithfulness as He provides places for us to work as we travel about.
Each time we relocate, we find our fur babies are a bit confused. While we travel, their home becomes a traveling hotel. Cody and Mei Ling can sense things are not as they were. They tend to sleep while we are moving and get active after we get the motor home opened up. When we take them for a walk in a new park, they search for a favorite spot only to find their spot is not to be found. The next day, we close up the RV and watch them looking at us with confused eyes.
Regardless of this state of flux, they continue looking to us for stability. This past week, I was paying close attention to Cody, our Golden Retriever. I noticed that his devotion to me is interesting. He stays by my side (or feet) almost constantly. When I get up in the morning, he is by the side of our bed and greets me with enthusiasm. As I slowly get dressed in the morning, he is at my feet watching every move I make.
When I put my shoes on, he and Mei Ling get real excited as they know what that means. I head for the door, grab their leashes and they sit in anticipation of going out for a stroll. Generally, they wait for me to decide which direction we will go when I get outside. After finishing their business, we head back to the RV. They know to wait at the bottom of the steps, waiting for me to call them back into the RV. Once back in, they again turn towards me and sit as I remove their leashes.
After our morning stroll, I fix their breakfast meal. They both sit and watch my every move, anxiously waiting for me to give them their morning treats, meds, and meal. Since Cody is the alpha, Mei Ling sits and waits for Cody to finish his meal before eating hers.
After they’ve eaten and I’ve picked up their food bowls, they settle for the morning. I pull my computer over to the dining room table for my morning routine. Cody proceeds to watch me. Once I’ve settled at the table, he lays at my feet. Mei Ling goes back in the bedroom and takes a nap on Cody’s bed. If I get up for any reason, Cody and Mei Ling are both up watching me for my next move. Once I settle back down at the table, Cody lays by my feet again and Mei Ling goes back to Cody’s bed.
In Psalm 23, King David called God his Shepherd. By their actions, this is what Cody and Mei Ling are doing. They are acting as if I were their shepherd. Then the thought hit me. It was as if God was saying to me, “Jerry, do you give Me the same level of devotion Cody and Mei Ling give to you?”
OUCH! That hurt. Humbly I replied, “No, God, I do not. Please forgive me.”
Well, it is time for my morning routine to change a bit. It is time for me to focus my morning time on God and not me. I have learned many great lessons from God. He has always been faithful in providing all our needs and has always been faithful in keep us safe. Sadly, my actions have not demonstrated an equal level of trust and devotion.
How about you? How are you doing with that?
One thing I learned to do is to personalize the scriptures. This is one way a person can communicate with God. There are so many great passages in the Bible that can be personalized. Psalm 23 is an easy passage to use because the structure is easy to follow. There are six verses in Psalm 23. Each verse expresses who God is and how he cares for you at the moment.
Verse 1 Who God is in relationship to me, (2 phrases).
Verse 2 Where He puts me (2 phrases).
Verse 3 Describe the walk I have with Him (2 phrases).
Verse 4 Describe potential dangers and His protection (2 phrases).
Verse 5 Describe God’s provisions (3 phrases)
Verse 6 Describe my future in this special relationship with God (2 phrases)
Following is one of my resent personalized versions of Psalm 23.
- The Lord is my Teacher, I grow at the Master’s feet.
- You make difficult tasks easy as You show me the way.
- You build my confidence. You guide my mind through difficult processes for You know the way.
- Even though I am perplexed by challenges, I take comfort in knowing You will lead the way. Your Holy Spirit guides me as my spirit is tested and not destroyed.
- You fill me with Your knowledge that builds my trust in you; my hunger to learn is forever satisfied.
- As I continue to follow my Teacher, I desire to leave a legacy of knowledge that is rooted in Your glory and give You honor forever and ever.
As you go through this week, I encourage you read Psalm 23 and think about the structure. And, if you would like to share that with me, that would be cool. If you prefer to share your personal Psalm 23 privately, you can do that by using the Contact Us tab above or click here.
God remains faithful to us and is showing us how we are to spend our time while in Tennessee and in the right time, He will show us where we are to go next.
Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.