“I will fear no evil for You are with me….” Psalm 23:4b
You, Lord God, are ever present, ever with us, your little lambs. If there is evil threatening, enemies approaching, you are there, watching, providing, protecting in whatever way you deem best.
Often we are living in limbo, uncertain of what is going to happen, in fear of possible danger or disappointment, and when the doors to the future open, we have no idea what is on the other side. But there is one thing we can be sure of: that you are there on the other side of that door, waiting to greet us with your planned path prepared.
As you announce in Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” In you we can rest.
“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
The shepherd’s rod is a stout club to beat off attackers. Your rod is powerful, effective, more than sufficient to protect us from whatever Satan can bring against us–for you are invincible, undefeatable and all powerful. You have already won every battle at the cross.
And then there is your staff, the shepherd’s crook used to guide and correct your sheep as we stray. You are faithful to warn us when we wander willfully out of the way: you tap us on the shoulder, or you pull us back, or if necessary, give us a whack to get our attention. You guide us persistently, even when we insist on rebelling, trusting in ourselves rather than you.
You are absolutely faithful, fully wise and eternally good. Praise you that your pristine and positive character assures us of your perpetual protection and provision, all shown in the next phrase:
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”
As our good Shepherd, you bring us into positive places to graze. On the edges of the pasture may lurk wolves, bears, lions, or the great serpent, Satan. Their presence, however, does not need to disturb us, for you are our all-powerful protector. No one can skirt you, no one can thwart your plans or purposes. Therefore we can ignore the threats of the enemy and quietly, peacefully feed on what you have given, resting in your goodness, greatness and glory.
You are our good Shepherd, our great Guide, our Warrior King who has already defeated the enemy. As we remain in the shelter of your Word, your Way, your Wisdom, praising you in and for all, we are safe from true harm. You may lead us through many challenges, but in these you will protect and carry us through as we follow you. Help us, your little lambs, to do so today.