Even in the valley

2016-10-15-19-25-31

The LORD is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; he keeps me alive. He guides me in proper paths for the sake of his good name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me. Your rod and your staff— they protect me. You set a table for me right in front of my enemies. You bathe my head in oil; my cup is so full it spills over! Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the LORD’s house as long as I live. ~Psalm 23 (CEB)

“For a long, time, I prayed the words, ‘The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me to revive my drooping spirit’. I prayed these words in the morning for half an hour sitting quietly on my chair trying only to keep my mind focused on what I was saying. I prayed them during the many moments of the day when I was going here or there, and I even prayed them during my routine activities. The words stand in stark contrast to the reality of my life. I want many things; I see mostly busy roads and ugly shopping malls; and if there are any waters to walk along they are mostly polluted. But as I keep saying; “The Lord is my shepherd…’ and allow God’s shepherding love to enter more fully into my heart, I become more fully aware that the busy roads, the ugly malls and the polluted waterways are not telling the true story of who I am. I do not belong to the power and principles that rule the world but to the Good Shepherd who know his own and is known by his own. In the presence of my Lord and Shepherd there truly is nothing I shall want. He will, indeed, give me the rest my heart desires and pull me out of the dark pits of my depression.” ~From Here and Now by Henri J.M. Nouwen

Heavenly Father, on this Black Friday, I pray that I remember all that I was giving thanks for yesterday. Amen.

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