Now I Begin,
Now I Begin,
Psalm 23 The Lord Shepherd and Host: In Psalm 23, the first half of the Psalm illustrates God’s love for us is in the form of a shepherd and we are the sheep, following and trusting completely in God for our most basic needs and care. In the second half we are portrayed as guests of honor at a banquet where God’s generosity and attention is lavished upon us.
He guides me along right paths,
for the sake of his name.
Even thought I walk through the
valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with
You set a table before me
in front of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Once upon a time, a long time, I was a little girl who was afraid of things that would go bump in the night. I would recite the Lord’s Prayer to myself hoping God would save me from the monster under my bed. The first time I read Psalm 23, I was taken aback by it. My familiarity with it had not extended past walking through the valley of the shadow of death, and as a result this was a psalm that I associated with funerals. Imagine my surprise when I read the psalm completely through and realized its words were not about death but a profound metaphor for how amazing our lives can be if we trust in God completely, as a sheep does its shepherd. We will be rewarded like a honored guest at a party, happy and content as all of our needs are anticipated and taken care of.
When I am frustrated with life in general, when I worry and am uncertain about my choices, when I am still that frightened little girl, I now recite Psalm 23; not as a petition for God to save me, but as a reminder to myself that he already has. He is in control.