Psalm 23

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Jesus is my Shepherd, my guide and the One who takes care of me.
What else would I ever need?

He leads me to places I will flourish and grow – to where I can find strength through Him.
He stops and makes me rest, and drink in the cool waters of His Spirit.

He makes me new.
He takes me down paths where I can learn what is right and how to live for Him and His name.

When I turn and walk into the darkness, and sin begins to swallow me, He doesn’t give up on me. He stays with me, when no one else does. He convicts me, corrects me and disciplines me, because of His great love. When I find myself lost and unsure, He reminds me I have nothing to fear, because He is greater. I can trust Him completely.

In the midst of conflict, when the world comes against me, they come against Him. And, He has the victory.

He has set me apart, He fills me so full of His peace, His faithfulness, His loving-kindness and His grace, it spills over and soaks those around me.

Surely, God will showcase His goodness and His mercy today, tomorrow and every day. That’s who He is. And because He is God, I will trust Him with my forever.

Dodging the puddles

Navigating through the mud puddles isn't always an easy task.

Navigating through the mud puddles isn’t always an easy task.

God will make a way for us through the deep and threatening places of life.

His people never had to swim in dangerous waters as God led them out of Egypt to the Promised Land. God split the seas and the rivers. They walked across dry ground to redemption from their Egyptian oppressors. When the people finally were ready to trust and obey God and enter the land, the priests stepped into the water in faith, and God parted the Jordan River to usher His people to the home He had prepared for them.

So why do we, as believers in Christ, stop in our tracks at a few mud puddles between us and the life God has for us?

If the Holy Spirit is guiding, there is no reason to fear. God will make a way through the muddy passages and sweeping oceans between us and where He wants us to be.

Perhaps we are facing chasms of doubt, or shadows from mountains of pain and grief threaten to hide the path before us. Maybe we are afraid to get our feet wet, to step through the waters because we may be swallowed whole. Do we turn back? Do we ignore God’s call to the other side?

God is good. He is kind, and His patience is long. God’s grace reaches farther than our fear and our failure. There is no risk to follow Him. He is with us for every step, and every leap over and around the puddles that threaten us. The very spirit of our Resurrected Savior is alive in us! God has redeemed us, and He will triumph over every circumstance. Holding His nail-scarred hand, we can take each step with Jesus, confident and secure in His love.

Now this is what the Lord says—
the One who created you, Jacob,
and the One who formed you, Israel—
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched
when you walk through the fire,
and the flame will not burn you.”

This is what the Lord says—
who makes a way in the sea,
and a path through surging waters,
who brings out the chariot and horse,
the army and the mighty one together
(they lie down, they do not rise again;
they are extinguished, quenched like a wick)—
“Do not remember the past events,
pay no attention to things of old.
Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert.

– Isaiah 43:1-2, 16-19