Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Psalm 23

I love to read. Especially over these last few years I have really connected with a few Christian authors that challenge my 'religious' opinions and remind me of how shallow my thinking can be. And yet I've noticed recently how easy it is for me to put these biblical scholars on a pedestal and hang onto their every word. However, I was reminded by a very wise friend that despite the wonderful Christian literature out there, nothing can ever compare to God's word, the Bible. Again, I remember that the bible is the actual LIVING word of God... Something that is moving, active and real, and when compared with the latest top selling Christian author, they fall short every time. After all, the bible has been BREATHED by God. He ordained it, so no matter who reads it, when they read it or where they read it, it is still completely relevant and meaningful. That's why I love it so much. There is always something beyond the surface, something more to be learned. You just can never get enough! With this thought in mind, I have really strived to put the bible at the top of my reading list. And I have also become more enthralled with additional books that are scripturally-based. I connect with authors who back up their challenges on words straight from the bible, as well as those who break apart the scriptures word by word, and shed light on the context and deeper meanings.
Which brings me to the purpose of tonight's blog... Just recently I heard a verse from the 23rd Psalm that resonated deeply in my heart based on some insecurities I was facing. It left me with a hunger to tap into the deeper meanings of the passage. Not long after that did the Lord lead me to the book, 'Traveling Light' by Max Lucado, which breaks apart the 23rd Psalm into promises surrounding the burdens we carry through life. Could it be more perfect!? Each chapter centers around a different piece of luggage we pick up as we travel on this earth, and Max uses Psalm 23 to remind us of the hope we have in the Lord. After reading each chapter, I took time to write down my own translation of the verse and what the Lord was saying to me through each promise.
Now that the book is finished and my chapter is complete, I would like to share my translation of Psalm 23 with you. Feel free to get out your bible and read along verse by verse with me...

Yahweh is the great I AM. Unchanging. Uncaused. Ungoverned.
I am defenseless and dirty, in need of grace, protection and love.
What I have in my Father is greater than what I do not have in my life.
He leads me and invites me to rest in His finished work.
He isn't behind me yelling "Go!", He is ahead of me bidding "Come", and He tells what I need to know, and gives what I need to have when the time comes.
In times of trouble, He doesn't give me hope by changing the problem, He restores my hope by giving me Himself.
He leads me up the narrow path of righteousness, where a steep winding hill leads to the cross and at the bottom I leave all of my sin and guilt.
He leads and blesses me in abundance not for my own recognition, but for His glory.
I am His, and follow Him to the top of the mountain by way of the valley. Even then, I never walk alone.
Because He is good, I keep my eyes fixed on Him, and I am given all of the strength and endurance that I need.
In the times when I am lost and lonely, it is then that He reminds me that He is near and He loves me with a perfect love. Love that can only come from Him.
He prepares breakfast for me and when I drink from His cup of forgiveness, my sin and shame are washed away.
He heals me of every disappointment.
He gives me more grace and hope than I could ever ask for or deserve.
His goodness and mercy pursue me every day.
And this world is not my 'forever' home. The best is yet to come.

Wow. How awesome is that!?
You can bet that I will be returning to this blog in the weeks and months ahead when I start picking up my burdens of loneliness, homesickness and worry, and I encourage you to do the same. It's the promises of my Jesus that keep me holding onto hope!

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