Psalm 23 as it relates to me

I think most of you know that I am in the ELCA New England Synod School of Lay Ministry. Our last homework assignment asked us to rewrite Psalm 23 in our own words. I was the only one in my study group that took up the challenge. I shared it with my group and they thought it was worth sharing online. For those who need a refresher, here is Psalm 23, from the NRSV.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff –
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
my whole life long.

So my rewording goes as so:

1. God gives me what I need.
2. He is my guide.
3. He fills me up spiritually when I am at my lowest points.
4. When I suffer from depression, He is always with me.
5. When I am challenged, He keeps me safe.
6. God is always by my side and always will be.

I applied the psalm to my life, and simply thought about what comfort it brings me, why, and when, in what circumstances.

It’s ironic that this assignment came to me just as I was coming out of a six month period of depression, one of the longest bouts of continuous depression I’ve endured in many years. It was my relationship with God, and the people God has put in my life, that allowed me to endure. God didn’t necessarily give me what I wanted but he always provided enough for me to survive.

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