Today's Thoughts: The Valley
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23
Psalm 23 is an awesome promise from the Lord, so personal to each of us. God is our Good Shepherd and He knows all about us. He knows that by restoring us back to Him, we will be willing to be led down His path of righteousness. At times, those paths will lead us through valleys of the shadow of death. Most of us hate those paths. Even though the Lord is holding us by the hand, oh, how we resist! It is hard to acknowledge that the God of love is truly leading us through the dark, scary valley. We may even want to blame such terrible circumstances on everything and everyone else instead of submitting to God ourselves. In time, however, we will see that it was only by going through the valley of the shadow of death that the Lord could help us break hurtful habits and behaviors, so that we can receive His peace and rejoice in His love.
Ask the Lord today to reveal any areas of your heart that need restoration. Do you feel dull or numb in certain areas of your life? Tell the Lord about those places in your heart where you sense frustration and barrenness. Ask Him to restore them back to Him. Restoration is not always just about life's obvious issues; it can be very much about life's less recognized ones. Take your time to really read through Psalm 23 (again) and listen to the Lord's impressions on your heart. The Word of God is the most powerful Word you will read or hear today.