August 12, 2019
The Shepherd is With You
“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” Psalm 23:1 (NIV)
I was terrified. I can bungee jump and manage airports and flights alone — and I’m blind! But … just let the dentist tell me I need a root canal, and oh girl, I collapse into a puddle of panic and tears.
That’s what happened. When the dentist broke the news, I reacted with an unfiltered, unrehearsed, unexpected meltdown just like a 5-year-old — except worse, because I am in my 50s!
So, days later, when it was finally time for the procedure, I had worked myself into a full-blown nervous wreck.
Laying in the endodontist’s chair with my heart racing, I prayed. I tried to talk myself out of my unreasonable fear. But it didn’t work.
When the endodontist entered the treatment room, I was covered with sweat and trying not to hyperventilate. I felt embarrassed to be so nervous and afraid. It felt silly making such a big deal out of such a little thing. No one has ever died from a root canal, for heaven’s sake!
As the procedure began, with drills buzzing and my blood pressure rising, I silently quoted Scripture.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7, NIV).
And, “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing” (Psalm 23:1, NIV). Another translation says, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” (ESV).
But, sister, I did want — I wanted to get out of that chair! I just needed to get myself together and control myself!
Have you ever felt that way?
I felt as needy as a sheep. Yet, as the procedure took place, I began to focus more on what I had instead of what I thought I needed. And, I began to feel cared for by my Shepherd.
I realized I misunderstood my true need. You see, I thought I needed to be in control; what I really needed was to be cared for. I thought I needed to be brave; what I really needed that day was to be held.
My friend, you may think you need to be in control, when what you really need is to be under God’s care.
You may have situations and seasons in your life that are far more consequential than an ordinary root canal.
You may have situations that bring out your fear. You have endured — or you may be right in the middle of enduring — a season that makes you feel so small and needy. You may feel alone and fragile, but you are not abandoned.
God not only cares about you, but during those times, He cares for you. He attends to your needs; He watches over your heart. He cares for you like a shepherd cares for his sheep.
Psalm 23 is God’s way of saying, “I made you to need Me. I am with you no matter what.”
In every situation, in every season, your Shepherd is with you. In the green pastures and beside the still waters, He is with you. Down life’s paths and through dark valleys, He is with you. In dental offices and at the cemetery, during the chemo treatments and in the delivery room, He is with you. At the table of blessing and in His house forever, He is with you.
That is the message of Psalm 23. The Shepherd is with you.
And, when we truly grasp who He is and what we have in Him, that’s when we can relax and say, “I lack nothing because I have my Shepherd.”
Dear Lord, I long to experience Your presence today. Carry me when I feel I can’t carry on. Show me my true needs, and remind me that in You, there is nothing I lack. Thank You for making me safe with You and teaching me that my vulnerability is not a liability because You made me to need You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV)
Do you ever feel like you’re running on empty? You try so hard to keep it all together, and yet, no matter how busy you are or how much you’re needed, it still doesn’t feel like enough? Don’t miss our next Online Bible Study, Psalm 23: The Shepherd with Me by Jennifer Rothschild. You’ll learn how to find contentment in the goodness of Jesus and look to Him to supply everything you need … even when life is exhausting. The study begins Sept. 3. Join us!
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What is one Scripture that reminds you God your Shepherd is with you? We’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments!
© 2019 by Jennifer Rothschild. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks LifeWay for their support of P31 Online Bible Studies and Encouragement for Today devotions.
Originally published Monday, 12 August 2019.