October 3, 2022
Shepherd Our Hearts
Lee en español
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3 (ESV)
It strikes me in the middle of the night, sits me straight up in bed, stark awake.
Anxiety doesn’t get the not-so-subtle hint it’s not welcome here. But my subconscious knows something’s up. I’m heading out of town for work and away from my familiar surroundings — my home and husband. How will I manage alone, left with my constant thoughts and suffocating fears?
Three times during the daylight hours earlier, Psalm 23 was brought to my attention. And now as I sit here, shifting under the sheets, I recall the lines, close my eyes and go with the Shepherd.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3)
Beside those quiet waters, can I truly find my Comforter, the One who can quiet those overflowing waters in me?
Can He be trusted to be tried and true in the swirling streams I fall into? Will He pull me out and place me softly on green pastures?
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.” (Psalm 23:1-2a)
The Lord is my Shepherd. In my weakness, He is strong. He is my protector. He is my peace.
He leaves the flock of 99 to come for the one lost sheep. (Matthew 18:12-14) Deliberately, He seeks us out.
He comes for us.
He restores our souls.
The Lord is my Shepherd, leading me beside still waters, singing over me with the sweetness of His voice. He guides me with His wisdom, keeps me close and comforted when I walk that dark valley. I fear no evil because I know He is with me. (Psalm 23:4)
But have I really eradicated fear from my mind and heart? My feelings show otherwise. When I worry, I fall away from the fold and find that I am wandering alone in the shadow of my mind. I lose sight of the Shepherd as I'm stalked by my thoughts, and panic closes in.
But His feet find their way to my side, and He enfolds me in His arms. Stands in the overwhelm, runs His fingers through my hair and stays embraced with me until the cries subside and I realize He is close. He is close — the One who saves me for His name’s sake, for His righteousness, so He will never let me go.
His ways bring goodness and mercy that follow us along the road, a guarantee to continue and cling to Him. This is the way we hear His voice singing again so we remember the melody. This is His heart holding ours. These are His steady words with us when we are unable to speak.
We can make the decision to journey on and choose to trust that our Shepherd has His staff to still our thoughts and chase away the fear.
We can say to Him, Shepherd our hearts, Jesus. Shepherd our minds, leading us away from the fears and worries that have joined us on this journey.
His comfort is our guide, and His presence is strength enough to quiet the waters. May we find Him in the mayhem of our mess, the mundane and the miraculous.
Lord, thank You that You are my good Shepherd. Thank You that You are never far from me and that You keep a close eye on my troubles, tears and hopes. Please shepherd my heart and mind, and help me trust You to lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
What if peace is just one prayer away? In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us how to pray using what we call the Lord’s Prayer. It’s more than just another teaching; it's a daily practice that guides us to peace in a world that steals our sanity. So we created this free guided prayer journal to help you learn more about the five elements of the Lord's Prayer and experience the power of praying through it when life feels chaotic or out of control. Click here to download now!
When you’re trying to heal from a difficult situation you’ve faced, the journey can be really lonely. Lysa TerKeurst understands this. That’s why she’s joined her personal, licensed professional counselor, Jim Cress, and the Director of Theological Research at Proverbs 31 Ministries, Dr. Joel Muddamalle, to bring you the Therapy & Theology podcast. Together, Lysa, Jim and Joel talk about the real issues you’re facing in your life and relationships, bear witness to your hurts and help you move forward. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
John 10:14-15, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (ESV)
What is giving you trouble in this season of life? How can you trust your good Shepherd, Jesus, with this difficulty?
Take a moment to ask Jesus to lead you beside the quiet waters He knows you need for your soul today. Then believe that He is taking care of you.
We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
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