Every Word of the Psalm

Saturday, March 29

3-29By Hazel Sundell of Independence, Missouri, USA

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths *for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I 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 of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

—Psalm 23

One day as I was reading the Herald, I was attracted to a description of Christ’s mission of compassion. Everyone experiences suffering at some time in their life. When I was young I memorized the 23rd psalm. It gave me comfort and assurance of God’s love.

When I have a difficult time or am suffering, I always meet God through the Psalms. As I’ve grown into old age, I can’t always remember which line comes next, or I skip some words. This has bothered me.

Recently I discovered a growth on my skin. When the doctor was doing the painful removal, I began “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” And every word came back to me perfect and clear, just as I had memorized. I felt Jesus there beside me.

Such assurance of God’s love for me makes my cup overflow. Now that my husband has passed, I depend on the 23rd psalm to get me through each day. Truly the Lord is my Shepherd.

Prayer for Peace
Tender Shepherd, in times of suffering, we call on you to restore our souls. We praise you for your goodness and mercy. In our youth and in our later years, we feel you beside us—we feel your peace.

Spiritual Practice: Psalm Writing
The psalms are prayers of honesty and trust. The psalmist trusts God’s presence in times of fear and failure, joy and plenty, growth and change. Write a short psalm-prayer expressing to God the truth about your physical, emotional, and spiritual state. What are your deepest feelings, longings, and needs? What prayer of praise, intercession, or petition flows from you as you consider your life and the life of God’s world?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will memorize a psalm.

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