Many of us turn to the Psalms in times of trouble, pain, sorrow and grief. I have really enjoyed listening to the many wonderful online reflections based on the Psalms from bishops and clergy during the past number of months. The best known one of course is Psalm 23. This psalm encourages us to praise God even when we feel down, to replace despair with hope and fear with faith. It reminds us that we have much to be thankful for. (Look around you at the beauty of nature and creation during this harvest season!). Even as we walk through the unfamiliar valley of this global pandemic, Psalm 23 assures us of God’s guidance, protection and great hope as He works His purposes out in our lives. A friend gave me the following reflection many years ago and I still love it! It says so much about our loving heavenly Father.
“The Lord is my Shepherd – That’s relationship!
I shall not want – That’s supply!
He maketh me lie down in green pasture – That’s rest!
He leadeth me beside still waters – That’s refreshment!
He restoreth my soul – That’s healing!
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness – That’s guidance!
For His name’s sake – That’s purpose!
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – That’s testing!
I will fear no evil –That’s protection!
For Thou art with me – That’s faithfulness!
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me – That’s discipline!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies – That’s hope!
Thou anointest my head with oil – That’s consecration!
My cup runneth over – That’s abundance!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life –That’s blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord! – That’s security!
Forever – That’s eternity!”
Friends, may you be blessed by trusting God’s Word and putting your faith in Him. Fill your hearts with thankfulness and know God’s love and protection each day.
Hazel Speares, Diocesan President of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh.