READ : Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd. (Psalm 23:1a NKJV)
Lowell was a quiet, private, gentle-giant of a man; all the quieter for the knowledge he’d likely die in the next months. As it turned out, he later died in the very chair in which he was seated during my visit that afternoon.
After sympathizing with Lowell, I asked him what Scripture he’d like me to read. His sister wanted some assurance that he was ready to meet God. My heart dropped as I heard him request Psalm 23, a passage anyone could have chosen.
Yet as I began to read, Lowell joined in, repeating prayerfully the psalm by heart. It had been his life-long companion. His faith, it turned out, was as real as it was simple. We used the psalm at his funeral because he had used it in his life.
In Psalm 23, David, “the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1), sketches the Lord’s love for his people. Drawing on his own experience of shepherding, he begins to detail how the shepherd cares for his sheep. The portrayal is not unique to David, nor is his confession that the Lord is his shepherd. Three thousand years later we too may have the Lord as our shepherd. Let’s cease trusting in ourselves and confess our need of him.
Lord, take from me my sin and make me one of your sheep, through Jesus’ blood. Amen.