The LORD is my shepherd,
I lack nothing.
He takes me to lush pastures,
he leads me to refreshing water.
He restores my strength.
He leads me down the right paths
for the sake of his reputation.
Even when I must walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff reassure me.
You prepare a feast before me
in plain sight of my enemies.
You refresh my head with oil;
my cup is completely full.
Surely your goodness and faithfulness will pursue me all my days,
and I will live in the LORD’s house for the rest of my life. ~Psalm 23:1-6 (NET)
What a comforting and reassuring passage for when we go through difficult trials in our life. God is compared as a Shepherd here while we are compared to the sheep who follow the shepherd. In Bible times the shepherd was responsible for the sheep, from protection to leading them to good areas of food and water to taking care of any injured or sick sheep. Over time the shepherd would begin to develop a deep and personal bond with the sheep which he tended and would even be willing to give his life to protect them. If a shepherd hired help, the help would flee at the first sign of danger and were not truly committed to the cause of protecting the sheep. Isn’t it wonderful that we as Christians have a shepherd who will love us and protect us? One who will cultivate a relationship with us, heal our wounds both emotionally and physically when sick, and take us through even the darkest trials in our life? God has promised that even when we are in the “darkest valley” we have no fear, for He is right beside us to protect us and carry us through even the most difficult times. When we feel weak and like we can’t press on any further, God promises to restore our soul and gives us the strength to continue pursuing after righteousness and following Him. In our life there will be times where we go through a lot of stress, hurt, or discouragement in our Christian walk; yet we can rest assured and be comforted knowing God will always deliver and protect us just as the shepherd protects his sheep. We can rest in comfort knowing that our Shepherd has promised His “grace will be sufficient for thee” in every circumstance we may face. As Christians we should not try to go through life depending on friends or people to help us through situations; rather we should turn to God in prayer and reading His Word and realize no matter the problem God will always carry us through as He has promised. Christ is not just all we need, Christ is all we have.