by Thelma Dade
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and staff, they comfort me. Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Psalm 23 (KJV)
It’s easy to follow Christ when the road is easy – when you lie down at night and all is well in your world. However, you don’t always check to see if all is well in your soul.
I was dying. I was in my late 30’s, and I was dying. My body was infested with the Lyme Spirochete disease. On this particular day I was in the hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota having my large intestine removed. Did I mention I was also a survivor of domestic violence? No? Well, all was not well in my life, or my soul. I was wounded – wounded by the trials, wounded by the people who held me captive, and wounded by sin.
My sin, you see, was that I had given up. I fell into despair. I had taken off my armor, put down the Bible, and I TOLD God that “I would not serve a being who would leave me in this place to die!” I grieved for my children and for the life I would never have. I had thrown in the towel.
I wish I could tell you that God stopped the world right then and there to repair what I had broken, but He did not. He very quietly told me that if I sowed into the wind, I would reap the whirlwind. In my pride, arrogance, and pain, I told Him I would accept whatever judgement He would throw at me!
So then, I found myself alone in a hospital room recovering from a procedure that very nearly killed me, still dying from Lyme disease. As I listened to some music, I heard the Lord say, “I didn’t call you sheep as a compliment.” I looked over and saw a book someone had left on my bedside table. It was “A Shepherds Look at Psalm 23″ by W. Phillip Keller. I picked it up and my childhood memories of sheep and shepherds came back to me. You have to care for them from the cradle to the grave, or they truly are too stupid to live.
As I looked at that book, I repented for my sin. I asked God to forgive me, and to restore my soul. I wasn’t back to where I had once been, but it was a beginning, and my cry became, “Deliver me!” God always meets us where we are! No matter how low we have fallen, or what we have done, we can never outrun the love of God. Nothing can separate us from His love. I for one, am so very thankful!
Has there ever been a time when you didn’t think you could go on?
Have you ever gotten to the point of despair and believed the lies of the enemy – the lies that told you to just give up, give in, or even take your own life?
I challenge you today to find the Shepherd of the 23rd Psalm, and let Him restore your soul; let Him walk with you through the valley of the shadow of death, and bring you out on the other side. Let us know how your journey is going…
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