This morning I woke up with Psalm 23 in my head, a psalm I find greatly comforting. It has been a very stressful time on this planet and I went to sleep last night praying for the world and those commended to my prayers.
With news of another huge earthquake in Mexico and another hurricane bearing down on Puerto Rico and other islands, along with other distressing challenges that come our way, it can be difficult to find peace these days. It may feel as though we are living in a snowglobe and our lives are being shaken up. A lot. We can feel helpless against uncontrollable circumstances, raging storms that we cannot control – like an actual hurricane or disaster — or the situations that muster in own lives that exhaust us.
We want to steer our own ship. We like to be in control. We like to stack the deck so that things go our way. We want to know the end of the book. Being in control helps us feel confident and capable. It is a very human tendency. Not many of us like the unpredictable snowglobe effect or dealing with the struggles that pop up in life. We long for peace, for relief, for hope, for restoration of heart, mind and soul. For space and grace.
We can feel very lonely, wrapped up in our distress and fears. We don’t want to burden another or reach out. At some point we might reflect on our reluctance. Why? Why do we feel we have to be super people? No one ever said that we have to go it alone. No one ever said that asking for help makes us weak. We often get in our own way, desperately bailing the water out of our boat while trying to fix the leak and trying to keep our hand on the rudder.
Take a moment and read this familiar Psalm. It was written thousands of years ago by a servant of God named David. David was not perfect. He liked to be in control. He wanted what he wanted. His journey can speak to our own lives. David had humble roots as a Shepherd and in his life, he came to understand that God was taking care of him, just as he had taken care of his flock. This psalm is deeply personal to David and speaks to many of our hearts as well.
When we give over and let God help us steer the ship of our lives this is what happens:
we are protected, we are comforted, we are cared for, we are given what we need, we are known and we are loved. We are anointed -blessed- and we are always under the watchful eye of the One who has our very best interests at heart.
Maybe today it is time to get out of the leaky boat and walk over to the tablecloth at the side of the little stream. Maybe today it is time to take a break and regroup, to see what gifts are waiting as we accept the invitation to let the Divine Shepherd assist us and take the load for awhile. There, beside the still waters, may we find peace of mind, answers to our prayers and deep restorative rest for our aching souls.