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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
March 8, 2002

God, my shepherd!
    I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
    you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
    you let me catch my breath
    and send me in the right direction.

Psalm 23:1-3 (Message*)

The 23rd Psalm is an old favorite of many. We need not just to hear the comforting words, but to really meditate on the meaning of each part of it. Maybe looking at it in a translation which doesn't have many of the familiar words will help us look at the meaning freshly.

The psalmist tells us that we don't need anything because God takes care of us and meets our every need. God certainly doesn't meet our every worldly want, but He does meet our true needs. Each time we find ourselves saying "I need . . ." we need to consider that our true needs have already been met.

If we rest in God, we will find ourselves refreshed. The imagery rendered here as lush meadows and quiet pools is an attempt to find a feeling we can experience in the physical world that captures some of the essence of what God offers us in the spiritual realm. We can learn from this that when life tires us out, we should spend quality time with God who will renew our spirits and fill us with a sense of blessing.

That refreshment does indeed let us catch our breath. It does even more than that, the psalmist notes. It also points us in the right direction. When we are feeling worn out and overcome by the burdens of life, it probably is because we are not on the right paths. We need to go to God, and let God direct our paths. Any other answer to our dilemmas can provide no more than a temporary apparent fix, and will not ultimately relieve the strain on our lives.

Thank you, Lord, for being my shepherd.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version © by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2002 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 11:59:51 EST