“The Lord is my Shepherd…(Psalm 23)
These are some of the most familiar words in the Bible. They are loved by Jews, Catholics, Protestants and devout people everywhere. According to the Shepherd Psalm of David, the key to the real blessings of this life and the next is a relationship with God. The green pastures, the still waters, the table of provision, the blessing of God described as anointing oil and the cup that runs over all the time are all conditioned on that relationship. David tells us how that relationship is established in the second verse when he writes that, “He makes me to lie down”.
However, the spirit in which these words are often recalled can be something like this: “The Lord is my Shepherd—but I have a health problem”. Or, the Lord is my Shepherd—but I have marriage problems!” Or, “The Lord is my Shepherd—but I cannot control my children”.
When we say “The Lord is my Shepherd—but” we are putting our “but” in the wrong place. We need to get our “but” in the right place and recall the precious promise these words this way: “I have a health problem, BUT the Lord is my Shepherd! I have marriage problems, BUT the Lord is my Shepherd! I cannot control my children, BUT the Lord is my Shepherd!”
One way the Lord makes us lie down is to use health problems, marriage problems, problems with our children, financial problems, career and professional problems and any other kind of problems we can imagine to teach us about the relationship which is the key to all the blessings profiled in these beautiful words.