"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. ... I will fear no evil for you are with me." — Psalm 23:1-2, 4b. (NIV)
There are few words in the English language that bring so much comfort and peace as the words of the 23rd Psalm. That is likely why this psalm is so often used at funerals, when comfort and peace are sorely needed. But what makes these words so comforting? One reason may be how the writer of the psalm, at the halfway point in the psalm, moves from talking about God as "He," as a being out there, to talking to God as "you," as Someone who stands with us. A God "out there" is not very comforting. But that's not the God the writer of the psalm knows. God, the one the psalmist talks to and the one we cry out to during the darkest days of our lives, is the one who stands with us, comforts us, serves us, anoints us. God chooses for us to experience Him up close and personal, as Someone who really does care for us and seeks "goodness and love" for us "all the days of our lives."
Prayer: Good and gracious God, we cry to you in our grief and pain and you are there to lift us up and restore us, giving us hope and love. Thank you for your love and mercy. Amen.
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