A Seven Day Walk with the Shepherd

Written by Linda Stirling

spiritualgrowth_sevendaywalk“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by life and the load you alone must carry? This emotion nearly paralyzed me following the death of my 18-year-old son in a private airplane crash. As a single mom responsible for my 15-year-old son and a budding new career in finance, there were days I cried myself to and from work, agonizing over my loss, coupled with the pressure I felt to succeed.

One evening, Interstate 5 was heavily congested and in total frustration, I searched the slot in my side door for a tape to play. A friend had given me Dr. Lloyd Olgivey’s message, “A Walk Through the Psalms”. My healing began as I listened with new understanding to the comfort available to me. The pathway out of the persistent fog of depression was illuminated. The Twenty-Third Psalm provided a daily adventure with God as my partner. Take the walk with Him. Each day becomes a victory.

  • Monday: The Lord is MY Shepherd. To me, that meant the Lord was at work for me. He knows me like no other and therefore knows exactly what I need for my child’s welfare, my job, my personal health. Every Monday on my Daytimer, I would write the Lord is MY Shepherd – He’s out there bringing in just the right client, the right mate, the perfect experience for that day and everyday. My business flourishes because God has been so good as to usher wonderful people to my door where it becomes my job to minister to their financial needs. What a Partner I have – and so do you.
  • Tuesday: I shall not want. The Lord will provide for me. He feeds me and quiets my anxiety. He looks ahead and prepares the way. I have seen God’s supply coming to me daily. Always in the nick-of-time, when credit can only be given to God, my human need is met. What a perfect God, in His perfect timing, with the perfect solution. I shall not want. Believe it; He has promised it.
  • Wednesday: The Lord will keep me going – He restores my soul. Oh, did I need that promise that miserable day on Interstate 5 – as well as today. The example that creates the clearest picture for me is that of the tending shepherd. When the sheep would lie down in the damp grass, the thick wool would be so wet and heavy they would be unable to stand up on their own. Can you relate as I did? The Shepherd literally lifted my heart out of the darkness and showed me new opportunities and new beginnings. He restored my soul.
  • Thursday: The Lord will guide me. The paths of righteousness were not necessarily my walkway at that time. We often look for love in all the wrong places, yet every Thursday for weeks on end, I was reminded that I had a leader who wanted to set me on the path of righteousness, for His namesake.
  • Friday: The Lord will protect me. The imagery of the staff of the shepherd demonstrates how God was truly there daily to protect me from the predators of lust, greed, fear, vanity. Yet the staff is also used to prod, keep me going, moving on with life. Depression and introspection were immobilizing. I was prodded to call a friend, read the Bible, play tennis with my son Greg, volunteer. Such shepherding lifted my fear of failure, bankruptcy, life without a soulmate. The Lord protected me. His rod and His staff got me off my duff and moving in the right direction.
  • Saturday: The Lord will heal me. Physically, mentally and emotionally, God wants us to surrender our wounds and emotional sores. When the healing involves God, the results include miracles.
  • Sunday: The Lord will pursue me. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. God is relentless. My life is full of miracles, little ones and big ones, because He never gave up on me. When problems present themselves, as they continue to do, I am moved to start looking for the Shepherd’s way.

I do not believe God allowed my son to die so that I would learn these lessons. Jeff is a perfect angel now, something he never was before. His struggles are over, he’s on the other side. I believe he cheers for me and watches over his brother, Greg. Surely God wants goodness and mercy in my life. I just tend to muck it up on my own. But God will pursue me, prod me, heal me, protect me, guide me, provide for me, and lift me up when I get down. Isn’t it amazing that thousands of years ago David was inspired by God to write that Psalm for me, to show me the way to triumph over tragedy and walk the adventurous life, with God?

Excerpt from PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP San Diego NEWSLETTER. Used by permission from Mary Walker.

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