“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” – Psalm 23:6
Finding God’s peace in these trying times is a challenge. The disturbances in the Mid-East, the global socio/political problems, immigration issues, and a national economy that continues to struggle are stresses that are impacting many.
It is hard to balance life’s priorities when there is so many distractions and uncontrollable events impacting our lives. Like many of you I have difficulty balancing my life during times that challenge my energy and resources. Fortunately we can find comfort in God’s word. Through scripture we are challenged to rest and trust in Him who is able. It is God’s plan that we daily meet our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs associated with finding a healthy balance in life.
The Psalmist reminds us to “Be still, (cease striving) and know that I am God.” It is hard to relax in God when our pace is so frantic, but that is exactly what God wants us to do. To stop and turn off the background noise in our lives and trust in Him who is able to guide us through the many challenges.
I also find comfort in reading the much studied Psalms 23. We often hear this read at funerals but there is a special message in these words for those of us who tend to be workaholics. We are reminded that we need both physical and mental rest to quiet our minds so we can be recharged spiritually by His Holy Spirit.
Let’s analyze this scripture. We need to:
- Claim that the Lord is truly your Shepherd (vs. 1).
- If we don’t take the time to lie down He will make us to lie down and physically rest (vs. 2a).
- When we remove ourselves from the chaos of life we can drink in the quiet waters and receive His peace and comfort (vs. 2b).
- Look at the progression of the verses and note that it is only after we have rested and mediated that we can be restored and refreshed (vs. 3).
If we have the appropriate time with God to contemplate His majesty and glory we will experience and notice His goodness and mercy. This cute little story will help us appreciate the faith of a little child.
Timmy was a little five-year-old boy that his Mom loved very much and, being a worrier, she was concerned about him walking to school when he started Kindergarten.
She walked him to school the first couple of days…but when he came home one day he told his mother that he did not want her walking him to school everyday. He wanted to be like the “big boys.”
He protested loudly, so she finally got an idea of how to handle it. She asked a neighbor, Mrs. Goodnest, if she would surreptitiously follow her son to school, at a distance behind him that he would not likely notice, but close enough to keep a watch on him.
Mrs. Goodnest said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well so she agreed.
The next school day, Mrs. Goodnest and her little girl Marcy set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor boy he knew. She did this for the whole week. As the boys walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, the little friend of Timmy noticed that this same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week.
Finally, he said to Timmy, “Have you noticed that lady following us all week?
Do you know her?” Timmy nonchalantly replied, “Yea, I know who she is.”
The little friend said, “Well who is she?” That’s just Shirley Goodnest” Timmy said.
“Shirley Goodnest? Who the heck is she and why is she following us?”
“Well,” Timmy explained, “every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers ‘cuz she worries about me so much. And in it, the prayer says, “Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life.” so I guess I’ll just have to get used to it.
As believers we appreciate God’s protection and encouragement. He watches over us like Mrs. Goodness and Marcy did that little boy. We have the assurance that nothing can or will touch us unless it first passes through the loving hands of our Heavenly Father.
—Dr. Jim Grassi