I will confess. It has been a hard couple of weeks. My family is currently in a season of waiting. I was low on faith and I found my self unable to trust in the Lord. I complained that He was making us wait so long when our needs were heavy. I let worry and anxiety creep up from my flesh to my heart, mind and soul. I allowed it to overwhelm me, and it consumed my thoughts, my emotions and actions. Needless to say I was not a nice person to be around.
I constantly felt as though a boulder was on me, pressing me down to the ground. I was unable to pray, or think or call on God. I stumbled, and I was weak. It was a spiritual battle yes, but I let it get the best of me. My sin was worry. It is the greatest obstacle in the way of every Christian. The one sin that slowly, and subtly, erodes your faith. Worry in the little things, leads to worry in the big things and before you know it you no longer trust God.
Yet, in such times of testing, God remains true. There are moments in life, when you are given the blessed opportunity to realize how feeble you are without God. God uses these times to refine you. Like refining Gold, He brings the impurities within you, to surface under the heat of tribulation. He removes the dirt, the weakness, and applies to it, His redeeming love, and grace that endure forever. The last two weeks was tough. But I am not beaten. I did not lose. As He has done countless times before, He revealed Himself to me, as The Lord who is my Shepherd.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing (Psalm 23:1, NIV)”.
As my mind worried, thinking about what was going to happen to us as a family, I started to note what I lacked in my life. I started to focus on the smallness of our apartment, the lack of space for my kids etc., and I became spiritually claustrophobic. One morning while making my coffee, I looked above our coffee machine where Psalm 23 was hanging on the wall. I read the first line, “I lack nothing”.
When David penned this Psalm, he wrote it in the present tense. It contains bold declarations that are to be made in the present. As I read it out loud, I realized that I had allowed my worry to blind me to the truth. It was the first wake up call to me by my Shepherd. God reminded me that because He is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. I have everything I need.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures,he leads me beside quiet waters,he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right path for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23: 2-3 NIV).
Then He led me to the green pasture and made me sit down. Sometimes God has to “make you rest” for your own good. My green pasture was the word of God, the company of faithful believers to whom I confessed my situation and my sin. As I confessed, I received clarity and healing, and prayer support. As I spent time diligently reading the Word of God, I allowed the words to build my faith and it was in one those mornings, the Good Shepherd said, “read these words aloud and it will restore you”.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles, They will run and not grow weary,they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40: 28-3, NIV)
God reminded me that it is He who gives the strength to keep my hope in Him in the uncertain and unknown. When worry exhausted me, He gave my tired mind rest, and help, and reminded me to renew my strength in Him and to rise up. The He took my worry and gave me His peace and led me to the right path, for His names sake; The Good Shepherd.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil for you are with me;your rod and your staff,they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4, NIV).
Once I received His strength and grace it was time to arise and take charge of my mind, where the spiritual battle was taking place. I bound and rebuked the spirit of worrying and anxiety about the future and cast it out of my mind, body and soul. As I prayed the Holy Spirit helped me to pray with the Word of God, and to declare the promises of the Lord that holds true for all those who fear Him. The Holy Spirit also filled my mind with the peace of God that guards my mind and heart in Christ Jesus. Though the battle continues in the darkest valley, I am now able to say, “I will fear no evil, for He is with me, He keeps me and He comforts me”.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows (Psalm 23: 5-6, NIV).
Alas! Not a moment too soon, God finally spoke to me and my husband about our future. God gave us words of encouragement directly and through brothers and sisters of Christ that we trust, that all is well, His plan is in play. He did not give us specific details (we sure would have liked some of course!), but He assured us that He would do it. He would give us a “cup” that will not only provide for our family, but also overflow to bless others. He counseled us, that as we wait in Him, to go forth and encourage others to overcome worry and persevere in trusting God, for your future. He is the good shepherd and He will lead, guide, and provide.
God is Your Shepherd
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The world is hard, and odds may be against you and things may seem stagnant, but fear not! God is your shepherd. He will guide you by peaceful streams, give you rest on green pastures, renew your strength, and give you victory over every obstacle in your path. He will flatten the mountains and clear the way for you, as you keep his commandments and trust in His time. We make plans but God directs them according to His wisdom. Let Him do so. Let him be your loving shepherd. Let us then arise and cast our worry on Him and seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Let us declare boldly in midst of uncertainty and tribulations that,
The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, 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 of my enemies.You anoint my head with oil;my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
To God be the glory forevermore.