I love the Psalms. 119, 139, 73, 25 and Psalm 23 — are all favorites of mine. This morning Psalm 23 was the flavor of the day.

Yes, this is the funeral Psalm. The one they read at funerals and in the rosy red lights of the funeral parlor this Psalm is pretty somber.

But this morning, as it has been many other times, it was not somber but very encouraging! It was verse four that was so good to read today.

“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.”

Haddon Robinson in a short book on Psalm 23 that he wrote said this about verse 4,

    Undoubtedly, as David wrote this psalm, he could remember how as a boy he had led this own flocks through the valley of deep darkness.

    Just as the sheep trusted David for protection, so he had learned to trust God to protect him.

    What kind of courage does a sheep need? A sheep does not need courage to fight its enemies. The most courageous sheep in the world would be an easy victim of the smallest wolf or mountain lion. What a sheep needs is courage to trust the shepherd. When it senses that a predator is near, it looks up to see the shepherd nearby, and then it goes back to grazing again. That takes courage!

    What kind of courage does a Christian need? We don’t need courage to fight our own spiritual battles.

    We need courage to trust the Shepherd. If we know that He is nearby, we simply trust ourselves to Him and go back to grazing again. And that takes courage!

Isn’t that good news! My Shepherd, our Shepherd, is nearby. And no matter what might seem to be licking its chops waiting to devour us, He stands guard over us.

There are days or even weeks when the uncertainty of life wants to overwhelm us. Today is one of those for me. But for today I have chosen to keep on grazing and trust myself to the Shepherd!

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