Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
There is no way to describe the restoration of my soul. In this day I had lied. My boss asked me if I had completed a task and I had answered yes, though I had not. Earlier today I had snarled at someone who had asked me a simple question. It was too simple and I could not stand their stupidity. I spoke tersely to them. How was I to know they were feeling bad from a cold and just couldn’t focus as they normally would? I had cursed someone silently for getting ahead of me on the bus so they got a seat of their own and I had to share. There had not been an ounce of gratitude for my rice and bean dinner. I had wanted a pizza but couldn’t afford it.
All of these sins were cleansed away without discussion, along with many more. Wrong choices over a life partner in my past had cost me a home and a family. Helplessness had held me back from helping people I should have. Laziness had cost me opportunities I didn’t know existed. Tears had fallen over them, but the Lord told me to put them away. “You are my child. I paid for those sins.” What could I say? “I’ll try to do better, Savior.” But he drew me away from the self-reproach to be happy in the moment.
Grief had passed over me that day. Pain had surprised me when I was accused of something I had not done and would never do by someone I trusted. Christ soothed my pain and misery. The next moment was of complete peace, joy, and freedom. There was no need to be anyone but who I am.
Now I could see the way to righteousness, not only in what I did, but how I thought and felt. Goodness is only good in his name’s sake. Everything else is fake.
Now I could see Paul’s point about being a child and growing up, about looking in a mirror and only seeing part of the image, dimly. I thought of the moon, full and brilliant, then covered in clouds and sharing next to no light. My days were so much like these similes! But I had Christ’s assurance. I could not see it all, but he could. My shepherd would lead me if only I didn’t flee him. Righteousness could only be in his presence.
Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Death. I was afraid of it, really. Not knowing about that mystery was frightening. But Christ had been through it. He had conquered it. Though he died he is alive. “Will you really be with me, my Lord?” I asked, trembling and not sure I wanted the answer. “Until the end of time, little girl.” I liked that. A little girl. But the subject of death still hung over me. “What is it like, Jesus?” “Nay, child. I may tell you sometime. But not now. Mysteries do not have to be feared. Why else would you enjoy a good mystery book?” I blushed. Sometimes it’s the mystery, sometimes a romance. But I love the suspense. He smiled. “Trust in me and you will know that death is nothing to fear.” I swallowed, and made a decision to believe. He gave me the strength, and the knowledge of his might comforted me.
He handed me his staff. I took it, and unwillingly use it to stepped off the rock, away from his arms. It held me up, despite my sore knee. He wanted me to practice my walk. The bad knee almost buckled and I leaned on the tool he had given me. It was good, though not as good as his arm. “I need my arm.” He laughed. He was holding a lamb, feeding it. I cocked my head, leaned on his staff and smiled at the picture that came straight out of my nursery. But this was real. “
“I’ll always give you what you need. It may not be in a form that you want. But I want to give you every comfort that I can. Not a fancy, costly walking stick. There’s nothing wrong with them for those people that can get them. Sometimes it will be a hand carved shepherd’s staff. Or a rod to keep what you fear away. Sin, wild animals, predators of all sorts.” He gazed at me with love. I dropped my eyes. It was becoming too much again. But I didn’t want to run now. I just needed a moment of relief. One day I will be better equipped to be in the presence of my sovereign.
“Let’s eat!” his voice was joyous as he waved an arm and a feast appeared.
I am an office worker by day but a writer and crafter in my free time. My books can be found on Amazon in print or on Kindle.