Where is God in my time of need? - Psalm 23

Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd

I shall lack nothing

He lays me down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

He revives my soul.

He directs me in paths of righteousness

for the sake of His name.

Though I walk in the valley

of the shadow of death

I will fear no evil

For You are with me.”

What does it mean to be a shepherd?”.

A shepherd watches over each sheep. And when one wanders off and loses his way, the shepherd rescues him. He may have strayed inches from a cliff, high up on a steep slippery embankment. Nevertheless, the shepherd finds a way to rescue him even in the most dangerous circumstances. The shepherd rescues him without recrimination only with understanding and compassion.

On the side of the mountain, as the sheep balances by the crest of a rocky cliff, looking down at the rocks far below, there is great fear.

Down in the valley, where predators can see him from far away, as the sheep passes, sensing the danger all around him, there is great fear.

Once aware that the shepherd is close by, whether the sheep is resting in a peaceful lush meadow or passing through a valley surrounded by those who strive to do him harm, there is no fear. He knows he is protected.

In a similar way, in our lifetime, whether we are enjoying a peaceful day or enduring a dangerous journey of struggle and loss, God is with us through each moment, each step of the way.

And throughout this journey that is our life, as Kind David sings …

You have anointed my head with oil;

My cup is full.

May only goodness and kindness

pursue me all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

for the length of days.”

Ach tov v’chesed

Yir’d’funi kal Y’mai chayai

V’shv’ti b’veit Hashem l’orech yamim.”

(excerpt from "Software for the Soul: Psalms for Everyone - discovering the inner meanings" - Click Here for the link)

(א) מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִ֑ד יְהוָ֥ה רֹ֝עִ֗י לֹ֣א אֶחְסָֽר׃ (ב) בִּנְא֣וֹת דֶּ֭שֶׁא יַרְבִּיצֵ֑נִי עַל־מֵ֖י מְנֻח֣וֹת יְנַהֲלֵֽנִי׃ (ג) נַפְשִׁ֥י יְשׁוֹבֵ֑ב יַֽנְחֵ֥נִי בְמַעְגְּלֵי־צֶ֝֗דֶק לְמַ֣עַן שְׁמֽוֹ׃ (ד) גַּ֤ם כִּֽי־אֵלֵ֨ךְ בְּגֵ֪יא צַלְמָ֡וֶת לֹא־אִ֘ירָ֤א רָ֗ע כִּי־אַתָּ֥ה עִמָּדִ֑י שִׁבְטְךָ֥ וּ֝מִשְׁעַנְתֶּ֗ךָ הֵ֣מָּה יְנַֽחֲמֻֽנִי׃ (ה) תַּעֲרֹ֬ךְ לְפָנַ֨י ׀ שֻׁלְחָ֗ן נֶ֥גֶד צֹרְרָ֑י דִּשַּׁ֖נְתָּ בַשֶּׁ֥מֶן רֹ֝אשִׁ֗י כּוֹסִ֥י רְוָיָֽה׃ (ו) אַ֤ךְ ׀ ט֤וֹב וָחֶ֣סֶד יִ֭רְדְּפוּנִי כָּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיָּ֑י וְשַׁבְתִּ֥י בְּבֵית־יְ֝הוָ֗ה לְאֹ֣רֶךְ יָמִֽים׃

(1) A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I lack nothing. (2) He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me to water in places of repose; (3) He renews my life; He guides me in right paths as befits His name. (4) Though I walk through a valley of deepest darkness, I fear no harm, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me. (5) You spread a table for me in full view of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my drink is abundant. (6) Only goodness and steadfast love shall pursue me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for many long years.