I was so excited to write a devotion on the 23rd Psalm. I love nothing more than being led beside still waters, lying down in green pastures, and having my soul restored. Truly. When I hike in the mountains and kayak on the lake, God’s healing presence is right there with me.
I was all set to tell you about the Hampton Creek trail and the stares of the cows as you walk through their pasture; the sound of the water rushing down the mountainside and the large rock in the clearing where you can sit and see forever…where God restoreths my soul (v. 3).
And then yesterday God prepareth a table before me in the presence of mine enemies (v. 5). I hate it when that happens!
I guess she’s not really an enemy; just someone who has been a bit hateful to people I care about. I knew she was there in the grocery store. I had caught her out of the corner of my eye and quickly made my way down a different aisle. I was safely in the checkout line hiding behind an article, “15 Ways to Use Summer Squash,” when an arm grabbed mine and spun me around a quarter turn.
It didn’t feel like the valley of the shadow of death, but a rod and a staff would have comforted me (v. 4). To make matters worse, she only had kind things to say…in a tone, but, still nice. And I realized if I wanted goodness and mercy to follow me all of the days of my life and if I wanted to know what it felt like to dwell in the house of the Lord forever (v. 6), especially on this side of eternity, I was going to have to write a different devotion.
What enemy is God most likely to put at a table before you? What do you need to do differently to honor God in that relationship?
God, I’m tempted to hold tightly to the beautiful parts of your promises and hide from the more challenging ones. Help me to honor you, even when it requires hard things from me. Amen.