God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word, you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through Death Valley,
I'm not afraid when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.
I'm back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.
The LORD, the Psalmist's Shepherd.
A Psalm of David.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
New American Standard
What wonderful words. The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. True to His word, He lets me catch my breath and sends me in the right direction.
I praise you God, most holy and merciful, faithful and trustworthy, my provider, my shield, my protector, my all. You have prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies and you revive my drooping head. My cup overflows with blessing. Your beauty and love, your goodness and lovingkindness follow me, chase after me every day of my life. You are my home and will be forever.
Last week when I posted the verses from Psalms about how God is our help, I was seeking strength from God's word for a situation I was facing at work. It seemed the only option was to resign from a job I've been at for almost 8 years. I felt it was the only way to preserve my dignity. As I've shared before, I've been seriously searching for a teaching job for a while now. I'm sure alot of us feel this way at times, but I had felt like a caged bird for a long time, believing that God's purpose for me was far away from where I was spending the majority of my time.
So, being the brave soul that I am, I called work, after I knew everyone had gone home, and left messages for my bosses telling them I was quitting. I had prayed and felt God's peace about my decision. I knew He would provide, believing He had led me to this decision. However. . . after tossing and turning for a few hours, remembering things like insurance, what does the employee handbook say about not giving notice, what would my family's reaction be? Was I being irresponsible?
So, I dragged my tail in after me the next morning, asked if they would accept a two weeks notice from me instead. Yesterday, I was told that they would give me an extra two weeks pay to give me more time to devote to finding a new job and that I could make yesterday my last day. Now, shouldn't I be happy about this turn of events? I feel like the bird who has been dreaming and singing of freedom, staring at the open door in the cage, realizing I really am free. Free to follow my dreams and let God lead me in the right direction. He has given me this time to catch my breath.
Last week, my post was going to be about pride, how sometimes in attempting self preservation we become the one who is proud. Attempting to protect ourselves from those around us who seem haughty and rude, we ourselves become prideful. In setting down my pride, I realized it had become a wall behind which I had been hiding for a long time. Now, it seems, God has provided the only protection I ever needed all along.
This morning instead of chasing after planes, pilots and coffee pots, I'm at home making scrambled eggs and pancakes for my kids, looking out at my green pastures.
Dear Precious Lord,
I lay my days at your feet. I lay the work of my hands and my ambitions and dreams at your feet. May each thought and effort be for you and from you. I know all that I am and have is from you. Your beauty and love, your goodness and lovingkindess, follow me all the days of my life. My home is with you.