“He makes me lie down in green pastures … even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” Psalm 23:2-4
In this final reflection on Psalms for a Lonely Planet I want to linger a little longer in Psalm 23, which is probably one of the most well-known pieces of religious literature.
Notice how King David says ‘he makes me lie down in green pastures… even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.’ (Psalm 23:2 & 4). Through this remarkable imagery the psalmist is reminding us that, even though seasons of life come and go, the great shepherd of our faith, Jesus, is always present with us. In the lush, green and bountiful fields of life, where things are going well, note that the shepherd is making us ‘lie down’; but notice also in the ‘dark valley’, the reason we don’t need to fear evil is because the same shepherd is present with us.
These words, if allowed to work in our frantic and busy hearts, should bring about a quiet peace and balance. Peace because, no matter what circumstances we’re facing, we’re never facing them alone. Balance because we don’t need to allow the ever-changing circumstances of life to set our emotional controls; because even though external things may change, the constant presence of our great shepherd-king is with us.
Today, whatever field or valley of life you find yourself in, can I encourage you to allow these verses to help you, through the eyes of faith, look up and see the constant presence of Jesus the shepherd-king.
‘He makes me lie down in green pastures… Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me’