Say this short line from Psalm 23 out loud. But say it five times. Each time take the next word and emphasize it. You will see so much more in your mind, when you do.
THE Lord is my shepherd…
The LORD is my shepherd…
Next: Think about the word “IS”.
The Lord IS my shepherd.
Do you hear how positive that sounds? There is no doubt there. If we can really hear and then feel that word, it can get us through the dark valley where we may be walking.
There is no question as to His Presence when you emphasize that small little word.
Not maybe but “IS” gives you the courage and assurance to keep pressing on in the midst of a dark scary time.
There is a shepherd! There is the Good Shepherd. And we are the sheep of His pasture. We know He exists. He IS.
Last time we talked about the word “THE” in the verse, “The Lord is my shepherd”.
Now let’s look at the word “Lord”. On this earth, especially in Europe, we find people with prominence carrying the title “Lord”. For instance, we might see someone called Lord Baltimore.
But these lords cannot do what the Lord does in Psalm 23. They are not THE Lord.
So who is this Lord? The verse says, “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want”. Lord Baltimore cannot do that. He might see one of us and bring us a loaf of bread. But he cannot see all of us at the same time and take care of everyone’s need. This Lord in Psalm 23 is deity. He watches over us and sees to our needs.
In the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus says He is the Good Shepherd. So He is the One who will lead us beside still waters that we might drink. He makes us to lie down in green pastures to rest. There is a lot of spiritual connotation in Psalm 23. We are not going to get into all of that here. But it so wonderful to know who this Lord is. We can call upon His name.
Sometimes life isn’t as kind to you as it might be for some others. Sometimes it is downright mean. Finally, we just bow our head and cry out an SOS. But there is a rope to grab that will be the strength you don’t have any more. That rope swung out in front of me today.
It isn’t easy growing older. But when life takes everything you have materially, it makes it even harder. When you don’t have a way to support yourself and have to rely on someone else, it also takes your dignity. When you see you took a wrong turn and you take a path to get back on the road of self sustaining, you fall and bruise yourself. But you get back up and keep fighting. You keep trying to walk to get to your destination. Sometimes you feel like what is the reason? Why do I even try?
Keep your eyes open. There are beautiful things still along the path you are fighting to stay upon. There are still flowers that bloom among the thorns that tear at you. And you are grateful for those. But you feel yourself wearing down. I know. I didn’t find any hope for this life. I have almost given up on that. I see no future in my life. None. But I have hold of the rope again. I know there will be a better place that I don’t have to struggle so hard one day. It certainly isn’t here and now. But it is a hope. Hope on the rope.
It is a fight to keep the right attitude. Others tell you to hang on and keep going. Hang on to what? There is no hope for my life now. But there is something to hang on to. Yet, you find anger growing inside of you at times. Then the tears start spilling over.
You have no hope of a special someone to share life’s troubles and life’s joy. You have no income to support yourself. You have lost almost every material thing in life.
But today I reached out for that rope I mentioned. I didn’t have any strength emotionally to continue. That rope starts with the word THE.
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD.
Think about the word THE. It means specific. The one and only. That word points out the importance of the following word which is Lord. But let’s just look at the word THE today.
“THE” is the part of the rope you grab. It is swinging out in front of you. Telling you to look to someone for help. It tells you that Someone is the only One. It tells you the Someone is the ONE who really means anything in this world. It is introducing you to that Someone. That Someone is where you will find the strength to keep going. That Someone is the only One that truly has HOPE for you.