Scripture: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 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 NIV
Observation: The Psalmist speaks of the comfort he receives from the Lord.
Application: My lovely wife lost her father last night. He died after surviving a stroke and remaining in a prolonged semi-vegatative state for about the last two years. Her relationship with her parents has been very complicated and stressful for most of her adult life. Most of the stress revolved around Christianity. Laurie is a Christian, her parents are not. She was very close to her dad and his death has hurt her deeply. She feels great sorrow today because her father would never accept Christ as his Savior. Instead of trusting God and accepting Christ, he succumbed to his wife’s wishes and he remained a non-believer. Today, because of the sorrow that she feels for the eternal loss of her dad, Laurie is “walking through the valley of the shadow of death.” She has no fear for herself but she mourns her dad’s loss and she does fear for her mom. Her mother has a heart of stone and refuses to believe. So we will continue to know that we are blessed in our lives and we will continue to pray for her mom. One day, because of our prayers and the prayers of others, the scales may fall from her eyes and she may see the truth. Then she too may “dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Prayer: Father God, today we are sad. Frank is gone and Beth refuses to believe. We ask that you soften Beth’s heart and remove the scales from her eyes so that she may see and believe the truth. We mourn Frank’s loss and fear for Beth if she continues down the path she has chosen. Thank you for being our protector and strength in times of trouble. Amen