Sunday, May 7, 2017
Psalm 23: 3-4 (NRSV): Faith’s Reassurance
3 [The Lord] leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for [the Lord is] with me;
There are times when I don’t know the path or will of God in my life. And it is during these times that I am presented with two options: I can either despair and stress out about it, or I can pray putting my faith and trust in Christ.
This Davidic psalm captures the essence of every spiritual struggle I have ever had, and believe me the struggles don’t go away. But knowing that God has given me these words to recall -- “[The Lord] leads me in right paths / for his name’s sake” (3) -- I find comfort and assurance in God’s plan. Even in the darkest valley of life, David writes, God is present, protects, and provides. Evil rears its ugly head in our struggles, and that can feel threatening. We must have faith, however, and “fear no evil” (4) because God is with each of us.
St. Paul writes that when we love God, everything we experience works for our good -- even our uncertainties, struggles, and failures. God’s purpose, Paul implies, is something we often cannot see in real time (Romans 8:28). Through God’s grace, our faith, and our baptism, we belong to Jesus Christ. And in that belonging, God leads us “in right paths” (3), even when the world and our folly threaten and blind us.
I pray that the Holy Spirit give us true faith and trust in the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. And in that gift of faith and trust, I pray that we reach out to others in authentic love, knowing that there is nothing to fret or fear because God is with us and leads the way. May the Spirit of Christ rest in our hearts.
Have a blessed week.Stan