Psalm 23:1-6 (NIV)

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,  3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.   

Psalm 23:4 (NIV)

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.   

DEVOTION – Sandra Hastings (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany)

A relatively routine surgery developed life-threatening complications, and my husband’s life was now hanging by a thread.  This unexpected situation brought me face to face with the reality that I was not in control of my life.  But I knew God was present.  Obviously, I had not chosen these circumstances, but I knew I could choose how I would respond to them.  Sitting in that ICU room, I reflected on the fact that when I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior, he became my divine shepherd.  Meditating on the unlimited, timeless, supreme power of my shepherd filled my heart with comfort and peace.  I chose at that moment to trust my shepherd – just as King David describes in Psalm 23.

Sudden, unexpected turns in life that cause us to anticipate an uncertain future can cripple us with doubt and fear.  These situations can steal our peace and stifle our joy,  However, we have an antidote.  Peace and comfort – even joy – will return when we remember that we are the sheep of God’s pasture.  Let us choose to trust our Great Shepherd’s divine care and wisdom.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: We can rest in peace, knowing we are in the care of a loving God.

PRAYER: Thank you, Great Shepherd, for leading us in paths that are best for our spiritual growth.  you provide all we need, and we praise you for your loving, faithful care.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE UNDERGOING SURGERY

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