He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The image of sheep lying in green pastures besides a stream of calm waters is very calming. The image of sheep in a worn-out field full of thorns and beside a rushing stream with steep, dangerous banks is anything but.
Many times, we can feel that we are like the sheep in the worn-out field and that we do not have any safe place to go. “We like sheep have gone astray…” (Isaiah 53:6).
And then there is the valley of the shadow of death. It certainly would be no stretch to think that during the last year we have walked through, and are still walking through, this terrible valley.
Hundreds of thousands of people have died just in America. Many in our congregation have lost family members, friends, and neighbors. Many have been sick and are slow to recover. The list goes on and on.
But then there is Jesus. He has been with us from the git-go and will stay with us forever!
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
Prayer: Dear Jesus, we thank and praise You for being our Good Shepherd. Thank You for correcting our paths, comforting us and leading us to righteousness. But most of all, thank You for the ultimate sacrifice You made so we can have eternal life. In Your precious name. Amen.
Contributed by Paul Obermann
Read Isaiah 53 and record any insights you gain here.
Call to Connection
Reflect on a time in your life when you could see God’s presence clearly. Ask a friend/family member how they’ve seen God’s presence in their life lately.