So, I’m counting backwards as you can see on this 40 day journey preparing my heart before the Lord as we await Dasah’s arrival. I’ve been in Psalm 23 for a few days now and I have to say it is chalk full of treasures! I think I’ll spend a lot of time with David in the coming weeks as he knew loneliness, he knew isolation and he REALLY knew His God. Psalm 23 is no different. It is profound to me to see Him calling out all the ways that God is meeting him EVEN THOUGH he finds himself walking through the valley of the shadow of death (or as perhaps is more accurate… the valley of deep darkness). The shadow of death has surrounded us, and with it the deep darkness. Yet, somehow David, in his own season of darkness was able to rest before the Lord, knowing His character was trustworthy. As I have been in Psalm 23 there are two treasures that have God has begun to write on my heart. As I spent some time meditating on the idea that “He makes me lie down in green pastures”. I found myself longing for those green pastures, sprawling in a field wondering if that day would ever come. So, I decided to do a little research and I discovered some interesting things about green pastures. One, was in this video I came across:
Enough for today, yes. This is what He has been giving me each day. As I walk with Him and let Him lead me (which sometimes I do well, and sometimes not so well), He leads me to green pastures… to what I need to sustain me for each day. Oh do you know how easy it is for me to look ahead, to fear the future, what’s coming. Yes, I remember how He sustained me through Sophie’s life and death but still… trusting Him for the moments that may come again with Dasah is often a daunting thing. I find myself asking “But, how Lord? How will you sustain me for those moments?” Trying to find the grace that He will give me that day, today. When He is giving me today that grace that I need to walk through what He asked me to walk through today. Surely it is in the dark places where we find it easier to fear what is ahead and we fail to see how our God is sustaining us for today. So, today as I was back in Psalm 23 my heart rested on verse 6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” I wonder what David was thinking as he found himself in a place of great darkness yet could say with such bold confidence those words. “Surely” an emphatic word meaning “no doubt, certainly”. He had no doubt that goodness and mercy would STILL follow him all the days of his life. Oh, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like goodness and mercy are following me. I looked up “Goodness” and “Mercy” in my wonderful Blue Letter Bible app (highly recommend), which allows you to choose the verse and look in the online concordance of what those words mean in the original language. Goodness was fairly self explanatory, but “Mercy” was the hebrew word “Checed”. I had studied this word years ago and remembered that it was a word far more rich in meaning then any word we have in our english language for mercy. It’s a word that encompasses God’s covenant, unconditional, merciful lovingkindness towards us. And as I unpacked a few more words in that verse, namely “follow” which means “to pursue”, I’ve begun to think of all the ways God’s goodness and lovingkindness has continued to pursue my heart over the past many years. He has never stopped pursuing me… in my loneliness, my despair, my joys and my heartache and even when He has “felt” far, He has been so near. He never stops brining His goodness into the darkness, He never stops pouring out His unconditional love into the lonely and even what we think are often “unlovable” parts of our lives. Today that brings me great comfort. And just as it is a reflection on God’s character, a reminder of what He does and promises that brought hope to David in seasons of darkness, so it is today the same for me.
Questions for reflection:
- What does God do and what is Davids response to that?
- What are places of fear and darkness in your life?
- Who does David say God is… in those very places?
- How would living in light of those truths today affect your perspective on the darkness?
*There are SOOO very many more treasures in this passage that I’d love to hear what you have discovered in your own personal study! Please feel free to comment below on any hidden treasures God is revealing to you!
Tomorrow’s Passage: Adam & Eve in Genesis 2 & 3