Two days ago, this passage in the bible came to my memory. There have been so many days of suffering for me this year. Many times I wondered if God knew who I was. I wondered if God cared about my heart pain.
I’m talking about faith tonight because it is imperative to complete healing. I believe we can get better on our own with hard work and determination but in order to heal our mind, soul and will, we must be willing to surrender certain parts of ourselves to His knowledge and guidance.
So, I read this passage again. But this time, I really read it. I tried to dissect it and apply it to my own healing journey.
Verse one describes Christ as our Shepherd. A shepherd’s job is to keep the sheep moving in the right direction. So often this year, I felt like I had absolutely no direction. I felt like I could go off on my own and no one would notice.
Verse two says that He will make us lie down in green pastures and lead us beside still waters. This seems to refer to rest and relaxation. Sheep could easily stray into areas that might not be safe or provide the food they need.
Verse three says that He restores our soul. I think he is referencing our mind and our emotions. Everyone faces loss or disappointment. I wanted to be exempt from that. I wanted to be the one who didn’t face those normal human experiences because I felt like I might not ever be restored.
Verse four says that we can we can walk in the valley of the shadow of death and have no fear. Sheep are not bright. They wander off into unsafe places and are easy targets for predators. We have all gone to unsafe places and been gently nudged back into what we know is the right place to be. For me, the shadow of death was typically me considering taking my own life. And yes, even then, He protected me.
Verse five tells us that He prepares a table for us – meaning He gives us a safe place to go and receive our basic needs even in the presence of people who don’t like us, or wish us harm. There are people who want to see us fall. But we don’t have to worry because He has our backs. He let’s us know that we don’t serve Him for nothing.
And the final verse, verse 6, tells us that goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives. I looked up the words goodness and mercy because I wanted to know what that really meant. The definition of goodness is kind and generous or moral excellence. Mercy means steady kindness, and the discretionary power to pardon someone or lessen the punishment. Wow, how many times did I live dangerously on the edge because I didn’t care what happened to me. And yet He gave me mercy and pardon.
The last sentence of verse 6 tells us that we will dwell in His house forever. I think there He is referring to both this present world as well as our future. I think He’s saying that both or all of it belongs to Him and He is with us in both for now and the days to come.
After reading and re-reading this passage, I realized how well I have been taken care of. I realized that I was and am loved, regardless of my failures or errors in thinking and behaving.
I’m so grateful for the first day in a long time, that I have felt like a whole person. I will continue to go thru this journey even if it’s unpleasant because I know eventually I will find those green pastures and still waters. In the meantime, I rely on my faith to because it is the one thing that no perpetrator was ever able to take from me.
Until next time – I am being MJ every day.