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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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The Good Shepherd

Posted by admin in May 31st, 2010
Published in faith, Heaven, prayer

Psalm 23
A Psalm of David.
“THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I will not lack.

He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.

He refreshes and restores my life (my very self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.

Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.

Surely (or only) goodness, mercy, and unfailing love will follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the House of the Lord [and His presence] will be my dwelling place.”
I’ve been fearful a lot lately. Fearful of snakes (been seeing them around the park and even in our neighborhood). Fearful of the future. Fearful of NO future. Fearful for Daryl’s health (he’s stressed to the max with work and other things). Fearful for our country, the environment, healthcare issues, and as always, The Church.

I woke up the other night in an almost panic! I felt like electricity was running through my arms and legs and my heart was racing. I was fearful. Fearful of close friends dying who are battling diseases. Fearful of broken relationships that continue to ooze and give pain and don’t get fixed. Fearful of rejection. And the worst of all my fears…fear of dying alone with some form of dementia. (For some of you who know me well you don’t struggle understanding that fear!)

I got up and went into my small office down the hall. I knelt down and I prayed, “Lord I am so afraid. I am now feeling guilty for feeling afraid. I’m now feeling fearful that you are angry at me for feeling fearful. Lord, are you mad at me for feeling fearful?” And then I whispered, “Please help me Jesus. I can’t wear the weight of this. It’s robbing me of my joy, but most importantly, it’s robbing me of my peace. Please help me.”

I looked up from my kneeling position and a book caught my eye on the shelf next to the chair. It was a book I hadn’t read in years, “Daily Light from the Bible.” It’s an old book; it’s little and I’m pretty sure it’s out of print. I’ve had it for more than 20 years. I picked it up, and read the segment for that day, “I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep and am known of Mine. My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me: and I give to them eternal life; and they will never perish, neither can any man pluck them out of My hand.” Then the reading continued…

“The Lord is My Shepherd; I will not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way but the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all.—I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep.—I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick. –You were once as sheep going astray; but now you are returned to the Shepherd and to the Keeper of your souls.”

Whew. Little fragments of peace started entering into my heart and I was beginning to breathe more freely, but what about the future? What about our world, our country, the Church? So I continued reading. The very next passage…

“The city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it and the Lamb is the light thereof. The sun will be no more your light by day; neither for brightness will the moon give light to you; but the Lord will be to you an everlasting light and your God will be your glory. The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knows them that trust in Him. I would have you without carefulness. He cares for you. Be careful for nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be make known unto God and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Okay. A little lighter. A little more air. A little more breathing room. Not a flooding peace, but enough to ease the burden. I decided to go back to bed. I finished praying for those who are literally fighting for their lives and placed all the worries and cares I had brought into that room at the feet of Jesus (I used my imagination and pretended He was sitting in the chair and then I placed the worry and junk at His feet) and went to bed.

Sunday, our pastor preached on the Kingdom. He had us as a congregation read aloud, “The city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it and the Lamb is the light thereof. The sun shall be no more thy light by day’ neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light and thy God thy glory.” Coincidence? I don’t think so. The Scriptures meant a lot to me and reading them there on Sunday made me think that God was letting me know He was listening and attentive—engaged.

Jesus said in the Gospel of Luke that people’s hearts can actually fail them because of fear (Luke 21). I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to be one of those people. But I can’t live above the fear and anxiety on my own strength. I have to call on God my Father and ask for the Holy Spirit’s indwelling. I have to bathe in the Word of God and let His Word wash over me and cleanse me from fear and anxiety and fretfulness. I have to call on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith and to say, “You oh Lord are my strong tower and my ever present help in time of need.” I have to follow Paul’s counsel to cast down every high imagination and every crazy thought that tries to eclipse and overtake what I know is true. I must bring every thought into captivity and declare with my mouth, with my heart and with my mind, “My God reigns and He is trustworthy and dependable. I am not moved by what I see or what I feel, but I stand on this truth: God is love and He loves me and He will perfect the things concerning me. Amen. So be it. It’s decided. Peace.

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401. Texas sister said,
June 2nd, 2010 at 12:41 am

I can so be right there on the floor with you even fearing being fearful…these words just washed me in this late night or is it very early morning?
Thank you for always going to the cross and by way of this blog, taking us with you…

smooches & hugs
to you all

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