Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Psalms 23:6 -- On Goodness and Mercy Following Us

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."
Psalms 23:6

This is the end of the 23rd Psalm, which probably is familiar to many.  It's the one that has "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want" (verse 1) and "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil" (verse 4) in it.

What I really liked about reading this today is that it says that goodness and mercy will follow us *in* this life.  Sometimes we get discouraged, especially in the "valley of the shadow of death" times, and we think that we just have to suffer through this life in order to get to the good afterward.  But that isn't what God intends at all.  He is teaching us to find joy and peace and make them part of ourselves, so that no matter what circumstances we are in, we "shall not want."

God loves us so much.  He doesn't want our joy to be dictated by our circumstances.  He doesn't want us to be driven by the winds of chance.  He knows our great potential and the power we have to self-determine our thoughts, our emotions, and our destinies.  We are his children, and although we are still learning to walk spiritually, God isn't carrying us everywhere or keeping us buckled in the stroller so that we can't fall down.  Instead, he is walking beside us, helping us learn to be strong and competent and strengthening our legs so that someday we can learn to run.

Today, whether we're in the valley of the shadow of death or in the promised land, let's stand up again, and learn to walk in God's path.  Let's be strong, and confident in God's will and in his timing.  And let's find the joy and the blessings and contentment in the things that we have, so that we never have to fear evil.  As we include God in our lives, and develop a relationship with him and learn from him, goodness and mercy will follow us, not just in our lives, but in the lives of all those we interact with... flowing into us, and also out of us, blessing the lives of other people.

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