Psalm 23 is a familiar psalm and undoubtedly the most popular in current society. It’s popular at funerals – expressing sorrow and sadness for a loss. Yet it ends on an upbeat note referring to God’s goodness and mercy for all the days of our lives. A true psalm for reflecting on this journey we call “life”.
I happened to study this psalm recently in my daily bible study “When Words Fail” by Proverbs 31 Ministries (their First 5 daily devotional).
The timing of this psalm was impeccable (as God’s timing always is!). I was packing for my “solitude” trip up to a cabin on a lake in northern Michigan. I have never done anything alone like this in my life, so I was a bit nervous. But God comforted me and calmed my fears when I read this psalm with fresh eyes.
It simply overflowed my heart with so much joy that I want to write about it over the five Sundays in this month of September 2018.
I hope you will take the time to read this amazing psalm with fresh eyes and allow it to renew your heart, mind, and soul as you pursue Him every day. Rest. Restoration. Righteousness. Reassurance. Readiness.
I have been reading Psalm 23 over and over again this month to glean the renewed impact it has on my life. I am ready to trust in the promises of this amazing scripture.
How will this psalm prepare my readiness for my daily walk with Christ? I can find the answers in the last two verses:
Psalm 23:5-6 (NIV)5You prepare a feast for me
right in front of my enemies.
You pour oil on my head.
My cup runs over.
6 I am sure that your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life.
And I will live in the house of the Lord
I shared earlier this month about my battles and progress when it comes to fear. How comforting to me, right here in verse 5, God promises even in front of my enemies He provides for my needs. He doesn’t do it in some small, insignificant way, either. He prepares a feast for me! A feast! That sounds so grand.
Oh, but that’s not all! He also tells me He anoints my head with oil. This symbolizes I am chosen and set apart. If He does these things for me, what do I have to worry about? Romans 8:31 asks:
What should we say then? Since God is on our side, who can be against us?
My cup runs over with joy, pure joy!
Reflecting on all the lessons I have gleaned from this psalm – Rest, Restoration, Righteousness, and Reassurance – the final step is realizing I am ready because He is with me.
No more unrest – instead I find contented rest in Him.
No more troubled mind, body, or soul – instead I have been restored in Him.
No more relying on my own power – instead I pursue righteousness in Him.
No more fear – instead I embrace the reassurance of the Holy Spirit.
All of these lessons bring me to a readiness to serve Him. I rejoice in all the promises of this psalm as it speaks to my physical, emotional, and spiritual healing preparing me for this journey. I am sure that His goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will live in the house of the Lord forever!
Let me encourage you in your daily walk. My physical health has changed because of His provisions and showing me the way with the whole, real foods He readily provides for me. I prayed for guidance and strength every day and He never failed to show up.
My emotional health improved as I felt better physically and connected with Him throughout the day – through my thoughts, prayers, songs of praise, and choosing joy!
Most importantly my spiritual health improved drastically because of the time I began spending with Him first thing every morning! I failed miserably at accomplishing this every day when I lived my exhausted, obese life. I praise God every day He never stopped pursuing me and prompting me to do this. And now I’m even more thankful for this time every day – the most important part of my day!
If you are not spending time in God’s word and in prayer every day, what can I do to help you be ready to commit to this? How about starting today? You can start by reading Psalm 23. See if anything new jumps out at you and apply it to your own joyful journey!
I’ll leave you with a fun song. It’s my favorite jam by my favorite band right now – because it soars like my spirit! Picture David dancing and praising God through song. I love that image!
OHHH, by the way – I was there LIVE when they filmed this video in Belfast. Best time of worship ever – so blessed to be there. It was a true highlight of my Ireland trip. I can’t wait to attend their concert here in November for another great night of worship!
“I Will Be Undignified” by Rend Collective
I’m abandoned to reckless praise,
Oh, my soul, will not bow to the fear, oh I will not bow
I will be undignified…
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Hi. Wow – so much of what you said in this devotion speaks to me! Thank you💕!
First of all, I want to say I found the story of your weight loss journey very inspiring. Congratulations on all you have accomplished!
I found you on the Diet Doctor website this morning where I was surfing around for a renewed sense of purpose and inspiration after having fallen (hard!) off the “Keto wagon”. I am now struggling severely to get back on track but my new situation has made that an uphill battle.
I started my LCHF/Keto journey in mid-November 2016 in preparation for my 50th birthday coming in May 2017. By mid-December 2017 I had successfully (& almost effortlessly!) lost 68 pounds. Yay LCHF!! At 50 years old and 123 pounds overweight and after suffering from obesity and insulin resistance for 25+ years, I felt that was a huge accomplishment and was feeling so fantastic! My husband (also my high school sweetheart 💕) and 4 children were so proud of me – heck even I was pretty proud of me… but I knew I still had a long way to go to reach my goal weight. I was ready to do what needed to be done to get there: educating myself by reading & listening to Dr. Jason Fung & others and watching everything on the Diet Doctor website. I felt I was well prepared for the rest of the fight.
And then, 3 days before Christmas, Shawn, my handsome, vibrant, wonderful husband & father to our 4 children (ages 18, 15, 14 & 11) suddenly and very unexpectedly passed away from Addison’s Disease. We were crushed, devastated and in shock. For the first 2 weeks I couldn’t eat and lost weight but didn’t track it or even step on a scale. My new “skinny clothes” were falling off me though so I knew I was down around 10 more pounds. After Shawn was laid to rest on January 5, 2018,(after the autopsy and the Holidays) I started just eating whatever comfort foods our friends, family and neighbours brought to the door. Or we would eat take-out food… whatever was the easiest. And that’s where my downward spiral (or should I say upward? since that’s the way the scale quickly moved!) began.
Now today – 3 weeks before what would have been our 25th wedding anniversary – I am sad, lonely, fearful of what the future may or may not bring, frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed, still grieving – and overweight AGAIN! But then I read your blog and it spoke to my heart. It inspired me and brought me to my study Bible. So, I had to say thank you.
P.S.: The Irish song and video had me in tears. Our sir name is McQuade and his ancestors came from County Ulster, in Northern Ireland. We have both loved Irish music our entire lives and it just seemed so fitting that you should included this beautiful, upbeat, “soaring” song at the end of your blog.💕
Oh my dear goodness, Nancy! Your comment has me in tears and will send me into prayer for you and your dear children after I finish this reply. Thank you so very much for taking the time to write and share your heart. I pray every day that my journey can encourage ONE person a day – that’s all I ask. I do believe that today, you are the ONE.
I can’t begin to understand the pain you have been experiencing. You have been through a very traumatic experience and your frustration, stress, and grief are overwhelming, I’m quite sure. It is no wonder that your own health would take a back seat during this intense time of grief and sadness. I am so very sorry for the shocking sudden loss of your husband. I do believe that reaching for your study Bible will begin to speak to your heart and start the healing.
You are an experienced Keto rockstar. I am certain that you will find the strength to jump back on that Keto train and take back your health. We both know that insulin resistance will lead to many chronic conditions and leave us not feeling well. You are the same age as I am (my bday is 3/17/67) – GIRL you have a lot of young years left to live. My life has been completely changed with the proper food and nutrition. I feel better now at 51 than I ever did in my 20s.
As to the song – were you familiar with the band Rend Collective? They are my very favorite – and they are also from Northern Ireland. Not sure if you knew that. Their music just speaks to my heart. The song I posted and another song called “Weep With Me” are my favorites right now. You should go listen to “Weep With Me” and be reminded that God is in the business of caring about you in your deepest sorrows, too. We can go to him with our laments. I’m glad you enjoyed “I Will Be Undignified”. It does make my spirit just soar. That is a great word for it!
I will be praying for you as you set your mind to focus back on your health. Your husband would be proud!