A Psalm for All Seasons

[Jesus said,] “I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:11a)

This month’s Scripture readings continue to echo the great themes of Jesus’ Passion, as God’s people continue their pilgrimage from the feast of Easter to the outpouring of God’s Spirit at Pentecost. What a joyous time of the year, as the church continues to celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death! This psalm is the focus of our thoughts today.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. What a grand introduction to all that follows! Because Jesus is our shepherd, we have at this moment, and will have for the rest of our days, everything we will need. There are times when we should stop and rest with him, but will not want to. At such periods, he will, in effect, make us to lie down in green pastures. When we do recognize our need for quiet and rest, his promise is that he will lead us beside the still waters. At other times we undergo deep emotional hurts, injuries to our very selves. While such wounds may be beyond the reach of psychotherapy and counseling, there is one who can heal us: He restoreth my soul.

In a world of conflicting direction about the right path to take, Jesus has promised his Spirit, who will lead us into all truth (John 16:13). He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Some claim they are unable to hear God. It has been the experience of many that a willingness to do whatever he wants enables them to discern his leading.

Suffering and periods of darkness are a part of every life. We have his promise: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me. “Jesus is there with me.” At the darkest time of my life this verse proved true. I found the Lord in a person-to-person relationship that has now grown only deeper. I know nothing now can separate me from him.

Protected from enemies by his rod and guided by his staff, surely our heads are anointed and our cups overflowing. His goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Or, as another translation promises, His house will be our home forever.

Shepherd of our souls, guide us safely through the joys and trials of this life, until we are gathered to you in the safety of our home on high. Amen.

In His Peace, Pastor Schultz

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