Psalm 23 (A Psalm of David- As Engraved on my Heart)
1 In moments of clarity, when reason of spirit eclipses all natural thought, feeling and being, I know I am not my own. I belong to Someone else. You watch over me. You give me all I will ever need. I will never do without. I call You my Lord. I call You my Shepherd.
2 On my own, it seems I find myself full of fret and worry. Anxiety chases me all the time. I am give out! But in an intimacy only You know, You calm me with Your private, textured words and gentle but direct touch. You make me slow down and breathe again. You make me take time to rest and revel in all the beauty that surrounds me, from the fragile green shoots of swaying grass to the stillness of the deep, crystal blue, reflecting waters. When my heart and soul are dry as winter, You give me refreshing warm drink that melts the edge of the inward knife till all my sharpness and stiff angles are melted, puddled and poured out.
3 You remind me of what is right, what is good and what is pure. I am reminded of Your honor, integrity and truth. Your name is Your promise.
4 Yes, the cold grave has come close and I am caught in the shadow of death and devastation. But You never leave me. We have stood still for days in this place, yes even months and wept together, mourned together. And still You stay. When whispers of darkness, smells of sulfur and putrid thoughts swirl darkly around me, You stand strong beside me, never letting go of my hand, or my heart, commanding me, “Do not fear! Do not doubt! Do not let go of Me!” Your word of encouragement lifts the weight of fear off my soul and gives my heart courage. It is Your sure direction and humble leading that brings me through this wasteful and bitter valley. With You by my side the hollowed out void inside my damaged chest is satisfied. And, I am comforted.
5 You do not beat up those blasphemous bullies that torment me nor do you shut their mouths. Rather, bizarrely, You invite me to dine with You at Your table as they stand nearby, wickedly watching as they sneer and spit at us. But oh my! What a feast You have for me! We linger at the table, enjoying the food and drink You made just for us. In the middle of our feasting and pleasure it dawns on me I don’t hear those malevolent bullies anymore. I look up and they are still here but because Your love so enraptures me, all I can hear is You. You tell me I am special. I am Your favorite. Your one and Your only. As I look around and take in all that is before me, I know I am blessed. My heart cannot be contained. I am ready to burst with love.
6 You said I belong to You and You belong to me. Because of this, there is nothing but good ahead for me. Because of Your love for me, You understand all my short comings. You help me in my imperfections and strengthen me through my frailties. Because I experience Your extravagant love for me, wherever I go I show others Your goodness, kindness and forgiveness. My heart burns like the light from a thousand candles! It cannot be put out or diminished only shared. And it shines wherever I go! This light will never go out. Regardless of where I am, in this life or the next, we will live so many days together they cannot be numbered. Oh, please let it be so!