In times of trial, we humans tend to lean into comfort-seeking behaviors: a close friend in whom to confide, a warm fluffy blanket to wrap around ourselves, a favorite show to take our mind off of things, a comforting cup of tea. How about a comforting psalm? Psalms are relatable. They poetically iterate the emotions bound up in our raw humanity. Psalms express our fear of enemies, our lament over hardships, our joy in triumph, and our determination and faith during times of trial. Psalm 23 expresses the tranquil state of God’s love for us, while at the same time acknowledging the ever-present dangers in our earthly human lives. We are comforted by God’s unwavering love for us. As we tread through the deserts and valleys of life, God provides wisdom and fuel. God blesses us and gives us hope. This psalm comforts us in times of trial by acknowledging that, though we stray like lost sheep, God is always present, speaking to us – we only need to listen.
The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing that I lack.
In green pastures God brings me repose.
You lead me to waters of peace;
you renew my spirit, O God.
You guide me along the right path,
ever true to Your name.
Though I walk in a valley of darkness,
in the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for you are with me,
Your rod and your staff give me strength.
You spread a table before me,
in the presence of my foes.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Your goodness and love are with me
every day of my life.
I will live in your house, O God,
forever and ever!
How does Psalm 23 speak to you?
Are there times when you still fear evil, even though you know that God is with you?