During my days in MD Anderson Cancer Center, I learned the real meaning of Psalm 23.
Many times in the darkness of night and pain, I quoted this chapter in my mind, along with many other verses. Even today, if I awake at night, I still quote this passage as a reminder that the Great Shepherd cares for His sheep all the days of their lives. I also learned the psalm has a message when we’re fighting battles and carrying burdens. Both my wife and I have experienced God’s goodness—and we are grateful.
When King David says “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,” he’s not saying only good things will happen to me. He knew as well as anyone that bad things happen to good people. He’s saying God’s goodness will follow or pursue him. No matter how difficult something seems, God works it out for good.
I memorized this psalm when I was in the first grade at South Side Elementary School in Meridian, Mississippi—thanks to Miss Virgie Upton, a Christian school teacher. As a pastor, I used it in many funerals.
The psalm is one of God’s great promises given to believers. In everything that happens to us, God works for our good—if we love God and fit into His plans (Romans 8:28). Not all things are good but rather work together for good.
No problem, pain, difficulty, or disaster in the believer’s life is beyond God using it for His purpose and plan.
Know the Lord wants to be your shepherd and tenderly care for you.
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