My past reflection on Psalm 23
Presented to the congregation in 2007
You are worthy
You encountered me before time began. Totally lost and relentlessly driven to sin. I was so far from what you intended for me. I was intended for worship, of you, but I focused my vitality on worthless things.
Yet even in the midst of my sin, you loved me, you drew me, you made me yours.
I look back in awe at the wonderful work you have done and eagerly anticipate what you will do. I am daily amazed at the fact that you, the Prince of heaven, Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of hosts, you left the glory and come to live among us likened unto sinful flesh, to die for my sins. I can’t get my head around it.
In this walk I have seen you in every aspect of my life. You fulfill all of my needs, fill all the voids, at least the ones I surrender to you. Your worthiness is shouted out against the backdrop of worthless things that the world places its faith in.
You are my Shepherd, Jehovah Raah, You guide me, you seek me when I stray, I hear and know your voice even in the midst of the storms.
In you I shall not want. You are Jehovah Jireh, my provider, you maketh me to lie down in green pastures. There is a richness in my life now. An abundance of spiritual blessings and an increasing knowledge of you that reveals your infinity, so vast I can’t get my head around it. There’s no end to you.
My life began in turmoil, and peace has been rare. But you, Jehovah Shalom, leadeth me beside still waters, where you Jehovah Rapha restore my soul. I am damaged. You Lord, are the restorer, making me whole. I long for the day I will fall at your feet in heaven, completely restored, in your glory.
Before the surrender, flesh was king and sin reigned. I ran the streets toward death. You reached out to me and pulled me away from the gutter. You, Jehovah Tsidkenu, you leadeth me down paths of righteousness for Jesus sake. There were so many times I came close to dying. I was filled with fear of death, filled with questions and doubt about what would be the disposition of my soul, yet I ran to it.
You, Jehovah Nissi settled that. You are my banner, my defender in this life making death a mere shadow. In you I fear no evil. In my cancer, I felt your presence in the shadow of death. You, Jehovah Shammah, you were there for me, ever present. Instead of fear, I have the blessed hope. Death has no victory, no more sting.
Just as you drew me to righteousness, you Jehovah M’kaddesh, are sanctifying me, making me holy. You keep me clean and correct me. Your staff keeps the wolves of temptation at bay. May I always heed your voice and enjoy the comfort you have for me.
I am different, unique, peculiar. I am marred by circumstance, marked by consequence, and mutilated by sin.
I stand out in the crowd. In the orient it is often said that the nail that sticks up gets pounded. I get pounded plenty. I go about misunderstood, misidentified, often maligned. But you know me. You know me inside. Man looks on the outside, but you look at the heart.
You know my risings and fallings. Jehovah Sabaoth, you go before me to prepare a table in the presence of my enemies. You are my avenger, the defender of the weak. I am weak. In my weakness, you provide the power of the Lord of Hosts.
In the midst of everything, I feel your soothing, loving touch. I know that you love me and have loved me from eternity. You truly anoint my head with oil, my cup surely runneth over. I know your goodness and mercy today, and yes it shall follow me all the days of my life and someday I will dwell in your house forever, ever proclaiming your worthiness.