Please enjoy the following devotional written by Ascent College student Robin Conboy as part of our “Psalms in the Summer” series.
A Psalm of David.
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
If ever there was a psalm that has brought me great comfort and assurance of God’s unceasing care, it is Psalm 23. This timeless classic of God being metaphorically referred to as our shepherd, who gives all-encompassing care to his sheep, has been tried and true since the day it was penned. As a shepherd and the psalmist of this revelatory Psalm, King David knew firsthand that God was good, and His care for him was likened to the care he gave to his father’s sheep as a young shepherd boy. The same type of care that meets “all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, NKJV), who is our good shepherd (John 10:11, NKJV). Moreover, as I recently walked through a diagnosis and treatment plan for breast cancer, Psalm 23 encouraged and ministered to me powerfully through its six verses.
As a sheep depends on their shepherd’s total care for all areas of their lives, I also relied on our good shepherd’s complete care and guidance as I navigated doctor appointments, biopsies, surgeries, and radiation treatments, which very much felt like I was walking through a very dark valley as noted in verse four. Yet, as verse one matter-of-factly states, I lacked nothing from our good shepherd. He helped me experience green pastures and quiet waters, spoken about in verse two, by way of exam tables, surgery tables, and a table I laid on for many high dosages of radiation. All the while refreshing my soul and leading me along the right paths for His name’s sake, as mentioned in verse three. In fact, His excellent care even inspired me to write under my left breast with a red Sharpie “1 Corinthians 15:57” for my last radiation treatment. The carefully printed, bright-colored scripture citation opened the door for me to share this wonderful verse, which reads in the NIV, “Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” with the attending radiologist and technicians. Furthermore, I realized and appreciated that His providential care for me was all-sufficient and abundant, as explained in verse five throughout my various medical treatments. Lastly, in verse six, the encouraging closing words beautifully reminded me that His matchless loving care for me not only pursues me but will continue into eternity.
On a final note, maybe you or someone you know is facing a health challenge or needs the good shepherd’s care for different circumstances. Be assured today that His goodness effectively provides, guides, protects, heals, and blesses His sheep. They are readily available to all who have called upon the name of the good shepherd. And as King David endearingly and confidently proclaimed, we too can say, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing” (Psalm 23:1, NIV)!