The Song Of The Shepherd

“My beloved child, I the Lord: I am your Shepherd. You will never want for anything which I know you need.
I am making you lie down in a green pasture. I have to make you lie down because, left to yourself, you would never lie down in that lush and quiet place which I provide for those I love. But now come and rest beside me.
I have led you to quiet waters: a. beautiful pool of refreshment from which you can drink deeply and safely, knowing that this water that I provide will restore your soul and will not overwhelm you.
My dear one, I am guiding you in the right path. It is one of the paths of my righteousness. It is just the right path for you to walk in. My choice is an expression of my holiness and my love for you. It is the perfect path for you. If there were a better one, I would take you along that one instead. My path for you is the path that is bringing you into fullness of blessing. It is the unique path I have planned for you; none other has ever walked it or ever will. Rest in the sure knowledge that you are on the right path. I will see to it for the sake of my own name. Trust me …… and rest.
Beloved and special child, even though you find yourself walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Deep Darkness, and even Death itself, do not be afraid for I am with you in that dark and threatening place. Do you think that I would lead you into some terrible, deathly gully if it were not essential for your blessing? There is only one reason for a Good Shepherd to take his precious lamb into such a place, and that is in order to take it through into a new and richer pasture.
Do not be anxious or afraid. You are my precious one and I undertake to protect you with my rod from all that would harm you, and to guide you with the tapping of my staff when you feel lost and alone and cannot discern the path. I give my Spirit to comfort and encourage you.
This dark experience is one you are walking through with me alongside you. Your trust in me is growing immeasurably because of it. Going through dark places with me binds us together as nothing else can. You can actually embrace your suffering, dear one, and praise me both in it and for it.
I prepare a table before you even in the presence of your enemies. There are no circumstances that can prevent me from spreading my tabledif provision for you. I am pouring the oil of my Spirit and my healing love upon your head. Stand still and let me do it.
In spite of everything, I will see to it that your cup is constantly overflowing.
Dearest child, there is nothing more certain than this: my goodness, my love and my covenant grace will pursue you and cling to you all the days that remain for you here, and when it is all over, this is my solemn promise: You, my dear one, will dwell with me in my house forever, because I love you,” says the Lord.
Expanded version of Psalm 23, from Chris Hill