Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Psalm 23

I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise that my inspiration for this poem came from Psalm 23! The passage reads,

"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 Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence on mine enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

This Psalm has a very special place in my heart. The first time the Lord really spoke to me through this chapter was when I was questioning whether a particular job was going to be an honouring project for me to be involved in. I wanted to make sure I was putting God first and not my own ambition so when I brought this to Him in prayer the Holy Spirit led me to Psalm 23.

He spoke to me very clearly through these verses and put such a peace in my heart that the job in question was indeed God’s plan for me, that He had prepared the path ahead and that it was for His name's sake that I would go there. It gave me such joy and security knowing that I could proceed with confidence and that I was in the centre of God's will by taking on this particular job.

About a year and a half later I was going through a really tough time with persecution in the workplace. A particular colleague wasn't happy to be working with a born-again Christian and was making this fact perfectly clear. As I was praying about this very unpleasant situation that had been dragging on for months, the Lord took me to Psalm 23 for a second time. I remembered the original promises He made before I had even started the job.

I was reminded that it was His will for me to be there, He would protect and guide me through any "valleys" and that it was for His glory that I was there at all. It filled me with a resolution to keep running the race and keep looking to Him for my strength and motivation.

It wasn't long after this second trip to Psalm 23 that the situation at work was brought to a head and dealt with in a godly manner. I witnessed God's faithfulness in an amazing way through this and just as He had promised I could see that He was with me. He comforted and protected me and I could certainly see God's goodness and mercy following me all the days of my life!

Having this history with Psalm 23, it was very interesting when I was led specifically to it for a third time and this time my situation was completely different again. The verses reminded me more than ever about how we can be in the centre of God's will even in the midst of a hardship. I recalled His faithfulness through the trials I had been through before and felt He was encouraging me not to despair about my situation now. Just like the times before, Jesus was with me, He was in control and would see me through it.

I'm incredibly grateful for the way the Lord has encouraged and blessed me through the few verses of Psalm 23. In my life it's proved to be a wonderful reminder of God's care, guidance, protection and faithfulness. With such wonderful inspiration to draw from I wrote the poem "Psalm 23."

Psalm 23, O' how I love thee. You fill my heart with delight.
The Lord uses thee to reassure me, reminding me of His might.
My thoughts of despair are culled and laid bare as I read of my Shepherd and Lord.
Knowing He's in control brings peace to my soul and slays all my fear like a sword.

I trust in His plan and I'm safe in His palm though I walk through the shadows of death.
Though I see not a thing I know Christ is my King and has been since my very first breath.
This life is not mine and God sees down the line, He knows what I can and can't take.
Though I face the unknown I know I'm not alone and will live life for Christ Jesus' sake.

In life I can see of how God has led me, I've journeyed to waters so still.
Though trials now come I follow the Son so trust and submit to His will.
Though I may shed a tear my soul will not fear, He knows what my days have in store.
The table's prepared and He's already there, He's been faithful to me times before.

Anointing my head, He's my daily bread though the outcome I can't know or tell.
Killing doubts that annoy for come sorrow or joy in the house of the Lord I will dwell.
He's prepared me a place so as I lift my face my cup runneth over, so blessed.
With His goodness and strength I can run any length, with His power I'll pass any test.

Wherever I go let my gratitude show though I don't understand all His ways.
His mercy and love will protect from above and will follow me all of my days.
Psalm 23, O' how I love thee. Your comfort is beyond compare.
The Lord uses thee to reassure me that I'm precious and safe in His care.

2 Corinthians 4:7-10

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed- always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body."

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