Willingly into Dark Places – Psalm 23

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1 ESV). It’s such a simple statement, and somehow this, along with all of this psalm, invokes a deep sense of peace in my soul. God is all the things a shepherd is, protector, provider, leader–everything I need. I shall not want. It doesn’t say I won’t get hurt along the way, or that bad things won’t happen. My shepherd is doing what he does so well, shepherding me; so I’ll be okay.

Something I saw in a new light today is the first part of verse 4. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil …” I’m the one who’s walking. The shepherd isn’t dragging, pushing, or carrying me. I’m moving my legs and following him into deep darkness (another way to translate it). That proves the sheep fully trusts its shepherd. I need not fear evil lurking there, for he is with me.

The remaining verses in effect say I am honored, anointed, followed by goodness and mercy as long as I live, and welcome in his house forever. What a privilege to follow my shepherd, even through the difficult places.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis