Tag Archives: The 23rd Psalm

Comfort From the Staff by Cheryl Lutz

Grace“Yea 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.” (Psalm 23:4 NKJV)

 

Hello friend,

My soul was weary and heavy laden.  Conviction of sin weighed me down.  The Holy Spirit used an illustration a friend had given me on finding comfort in God in the darkness of trials. My revelation was more on finding God in the darkness of sin.  I had sinned against the Lord.  I didn’t “make a mistake” or have a slight “issue”.  I had sinned.  I couldn’t blow it off, and I also knew I couldn’t wallow in it, allowing Satan to immobilize me. Jesus came to take our sin so that we might experience grace and forgiveness.  I had to call my sin what it was, and take it to Him.  I pictured a white canvas, and in my mind I painted it as black as could be.  In the middle, I drew a red cross.  Yes, my sin was real, black, and ugly.  BUT GOD!  He sent His Son to the cross to take the ugliness for me.

As Joni Erickson Tada says,

 If you think your sin is too great for God to forgive, crawl up the cross and tell Him it wasn’t enough!”

WOW.

Did you know we have a “staff” to comfort us in our affliction and conviction?

The staff represents our beautiful Holy Spirit.

According to Philip Keller in his book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, the staff is a symbol of concern and compassion, which a shepherd has for his sheep.  Just as the Holy Spirit draws us to Christ, the staff drew the sheep into intimate fellowship with the shepherd.

Even when we go through the “valley of the shadow of death” the “rod” gives us protection and the “staff” brings us comfort.

As the shepherd gently uses his staff to disentangle a lamb from a thorn bush, so our Good Shepherd uses the Holy Spirit to disentangle us from our sin.  He loves to hear His children cry to Him for help, that He might pour out His abundant grace upon us.

How about you? Are you trying to hide your sin from God?  There is no place where you can flee from His Spirit, dear one.

Are you wallowing in your sin and allowing Satan to use it to immobilize you?  Meditate on Joni’s illustration.  Are you telling God His work on the cross wasn’t enough?

Contemplate the words from: It is Well With My Soul, by Horatio Spafford.

“My sin- O the bliss of this glorious thought!—my sin, not in part, but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more; praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!”

How about you? Is it well with your soul?  Take the time to sing and praise His good name!

Feeling “All Shook Up?” Part 2

Secure-Gods-Heart-for-You-Embracing-Your-True-Worth-as-a-Woman-by-Holley-Gerth

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” (Psalm 23:2 KJV)

 

“Many of the places we may be led into will appear to us as dark, deep dangerous and somewhat disagreeable. But it simply must be remembered that He is there with us in it. He is very much at work in the situation. It is His energy, effort and strength expended on my behalf that even in this deep, dark place is bound to produce a benefit for me.” (A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, by Phillip Keller)

FLASHBACK: As the tech wheeled me down the long halls of Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, all I could think about was finally having an answer.   An answer for the plethora of bizarre medical symptoms I had been experiencing for months. I had four little ones at home ages 1-8 years, and they desperately wanted their mommy back.  She wheeled me into a room; the doctor walked in, closed the door, and began speaking to me as if I were a naughty toddler.  She explained to me that the EEG was completely normal, as well as the other tests. She condescendingly informed me that I did not want to have seizures, because “people who have seizures are not allowed to drive.” She likewise explained that I did not want to have Myasthenia Gravis either, because “it is a terrible disease that sometimes leaves ones in wheelchairs.”

Did she honestly believe I was there because I really WANTED to have some terrible illness?!

She then let me know they had ruled out the possibility of there being anything organically wrong with me. She had also taken the liberty of making an appointment for me with one of their leading psychiatrists.

As she spoke, I felt myself slipping into a black hole. My world was “ALL SHOOK UP!”

Even after arriving home, all I could see was the blackness of the situation. I couldn’t see how any “benefit” could come from this “deep, dark place.”

About an hour later a friend dropped off some food and a sticky note. The sticky note read: “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10

After reading that simple verse from God’s Word, …my perspective changed. Jesus knew what was happening; He was with me in the trial, and in the end I would “come forth as gold!”

Friends, our Good Shepherd promises us “green pastures and still waters.” But we must follow Him, even when it “appears to us as dark, deep dangerous and somewhat disagreeable.”

Fast-forward 15 years: I now have a diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis and a seizure disorder. I’m not allowed to drive right now, and the Myasthenia Gravis does affect my daily life. But thankfully it forces me to “lie down in the green pastures and rest beside the quiet waters.”

What about you? Is your life “ALL SHOOK UP!”?

 Follow Jesus (our Good Shepherd). “This deep, dark place is bound to produce a benefit!”