Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Mid-Week Message - Stay Close to the Shepherd

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake."  Psalm 23:1-3  (KJV)

I was a straight "A" student.  Well, most of the time at least, in all of my classes except physical education.  Oh, how I dreaded that class!  It started in the third grade at South Lawn Elementary School in Amarillo, Texas.  We had begun the tumbling unit.  Now, one thing about me is that I do not like to be turned upside down.  Not for any reason.  Needless to say, tumbling wasn't my preferred activity.  I guess the teacher thought that he was helping me when I was hesitating before doing a forward roll.  He came behind me and forced me over.  It terrified me!  Thus began my anxiety over P.E. 

In junior high, my distaste for the class only grew.  By this time my weight problem was rather pronounced so I was worried about being teased.  It was during these years that after-class showers became mandatory.  I started off the year by complying, however, when some other girls ripped open the shower curtain and laughed, I knew I had to find a way to avoid it ever happening again.  Because the teacher would stay outside the locker room and smell for soap, I would wash one arm.  It was just enough to convince her. 

We all have things in life that tie our stomachs in knots.  Sometimes it is a boss who seems to single us out.  Maybe it is something else, like a fear of crowds.  Whatever it is, I know that each of you can identify with the feelings I had.  It would be wonderful to sail through everything we encounter, but I have never met anyone who hasn't struggled with something. 

The twenty-third Psalm is one that many turn to when they need reassurance.  It is a beautiful reminder that we do not walk through our lives alone.  Our Shepherd is always there and is always overseeing all that we go through.  For all those times of anxiousness, we know that He will also "lead us beside the still waters" where we will not need to fear being carried away by the rapids that try so hard to pull us under.  He will lead us in the way of righteousness if we are only willing to follow Him. 

Several people have shared with me how difficult the last couple of years have been for them.  It seems that turmoil has been widespread in so many lives.  I can't tell you why that happens when it does.  However, I can tell you that hard times don't last forever.  Every battle ends eventually.  The secret to making it through is in knowing Who is in charge and Who to follow.  Just like sheep in the field depend on the shepherd for safety and provision, so we also depend on Jesus, who is our Shepherd, to guide us through harrowing times and supply green pastures so that we may lie down in peace. 

I know many are walking through the "valley of the shadow of death" right now.  Many I know about and many I don't.  However, there is One that sees each difficult step taken and catches each tear that is shed.  He will never abandon any of us.  Hold tight to His hand, little lamb.  God bless.

No comments:

Post a Comment