Happiness is Having a Shepherd

Psalm 23 Helps Me Live a Happier Life

My mind and spirit thrive on imagery and truth.  I am no Bible scholar, but after meditating on Psalm 23 for years I wrote down some thoughts a while ago that I keep in the back of my journal. I refer to it fairly often and I always benefit. I am sharing them now with only a few minor changes.

Meet Eli, the shepherd!

Commentary on PSALM 23

Psalm 23 (with my commentary in green)

The LORD is my shepherd,
I have someone watching over me, protecting.

I shall not want.
Jesus will meet my needs; I shall not want for
anything I need to accomplish His purposes
for me on Earth.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;
As a frail human I need rest and refreshment;
He provides it. Sometimes He even “forces” it

upon me in His wisdom. Here I can savor the
goodness of His provisions and creation.

He leads me beside quiet waters.
I am reminded of a special lake in the High
Sierras in the still of the morning. He gives
me peace amidst the chaos and turbulences
of life. He takes me to places and situations
that soothe my heart
and mind.

He restores my soul;
He provides forgiveness for my sins and
shortcomings, and heals my emotions. His
Word revives me.

He guides me in the paths of righteousness for
His name’s sake.
He leads and guides me through HIs Word and
the Holy Spirit, as well as circumstantially
when I am veering off course; He lights my
path to help me follow Him, all of this ultimately
for His own magnificent, deserving glory.

Even though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death,
Life has its scary, dangerous, dark, stormy,
threatening, terrible times.  They can be
dreadful, but…

I fear no evil; for Thou art with me;
I don’t need to be afraid because the
Good Shepherd is ever present, all-
powerful, and in control. Nothing can or
will happen to me apart from His will. And
He cares for His sheep, and I am one of
them.

Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Those are shepherd tools that lead, protect,
discipline, and pluck me out of trouble.

Thou dost prepare a table before me in the
presence of my enemies;
A view into eternity when I will dine with the
Lord; oh, the pleasures of being with
Jesus;
Satan and his cohorts will have no part in it,
having been conquered. My life will be
vindicated. 

Thou hast anointed my head with oil;
I am chosen and sealed for redemption.

My cup overflows.
My life is abundantly good with all that God
provides now and with future promises.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will
follow me all the days of my life,
Every day I am blessed with things to enjoy
and be thankful for, some big, some little,
but all are reminders of the Lord’s lovingkindness
and wonderfulness.

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.
And when all is said and done, eternity in
heaven awaits me, and I will be in the home
that Jesus is now preparing for me.

 

A tapestry I have hanging in a bedroom, artist Larry Dyke.

Three Suggested Exercises You Might Find Useful

  1. Memorize Psalm 23, if you haven’t already. Choose a version that most appeals to you.  I use the NASB 1978 version that still includes the thee’s and thou’s because it is the version I used when I first started memorizing Bible verses.
  2. Draw a picture of Psalm 23.  Get a blank sheet of paper and just draw it out.  I did this about 15 years ago, and my drawing is still very meaningful to me. Don’t worry about your artistic skills. In my drawing Jesus and I are stick figures.
  3. Meditate on this psalm line by line. Let its richness unfold to you.
  4. Compare Psalm 23 in different versions. It can help bring clarity and greater understanding. YouVersion is a great Bible App to put on your phone.

In closing, I believe that we are body, mind, and spirit. All three need to be nurtured for optimal health. Psalm 23 is phenomenal spiritual food. Eat up!

Please feel free to leave a comment, or to share this with someone who might enjoy this.

May God bless you on this journey!

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Happiness is Having a Shepherd

  1. My dear Vanessa. Your post was so very important to me and in God’s perfect timing. I told you last week that my beautiful mother was dying. She went to heaven early Saturday morning. I went to be with my brother in San Diego and on the way home I read this e-mail as Larry was driving. Prior to her dying, I sent and discussed various uplifting bible verses with her. One of my favorites is John 14: 1-3. She was looking forward to going to be with the Lord in the place the Jesus went to prepare for her. I then started meditating on the 23rd Psalm last week. In God’s supernatural power, this Psalm is so poignant for both the living and the dying. I was so comforted knowing that the Lord held her hand as she walked through the valley of the shadow of death and is seated at the table with the Lord. As I feel myself unravel at random times during the day, I go back to these words and get instant comfort.
    You were so beautifully used by God because this is exactly what I needed at this exact time. Thank you Vanessa and God bless you

    1. My sincere condolences for your loss, Holly. I know how painful it is to lose your mother. May God continue to comfort you and your family. Thank you for your kind words. They were very encouraging.

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