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When walking through the valley…

Posted by MDViews on December 23, 2008

As one who deals with depression on a daily basis, I have been struck recently by the comfort of Psalm 23. God does comfort, but I find myself unable to see or feel His comfort when the cloud of despair engulfs me. This is my prayer.

Psalm 23

A Psalm of David.

1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.   (I am a sheep, Lord, and I need You to lead me.  You know and supply my needs. I want for nothing of value.)

2He makes me lie down in green pastures.   (You, O God, give me rest in a quiet, comforting place. You refresh my soul with Your presence. The green pastures show the abundance of Your care!)  

He leads me beside still waters.   (I am lost and wander in darkness without You. But You lead to a place where I can drink and be satisfied with You. Help me to make You my satisfaction! You are the drink that satisfies forever!)

3He restores my soul.   (My soul stumbles along as if blind. I so long to be restored! Restore me, O Lord, to feel Your comfort and hear Your voice.)

He leads me in paths of righteousness    (The cloud of despair hides Your path, O God.  Lead me along Your righteous path! Help me not sin in my despondency as I am prone to do.)

for his name’s sake.    (O God, help me see the glory and majesty of Your name. I pray I will not dishonor You when I am lost.)

4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,  (I am there, O God. The valley is dark. My walk falters. Surround me with Your love, Your presence, Your assurance more closely than the darkness about me.)

I will fear no evil,    (I fear the despair, O God, and it is evil. Quiet my thoughts and help me focus only on You, I pray.)

for you are with me;   (The cloud, the cloud, O God, hides You from me! Penetrate the cloud! Be my companion, I pray. Help me trust and walk by faith.)

your rod and your staff,     (Use Your club, O God, to vanquish my despair and Your hook to pull me back from the edge!)

they comfort me.    (Your comfort is eternal and I praise You for it!)

5You prepare a table before me  (Your blood covers my sin and so I am invited to the banquet table of the Lamb!)

in the presence of my enemies;  (My enemy is ever my companion, O God! Give me hope, O Lord, I pray. Grant me confidence that You will sustain me through this.)

you anoint my head with oil;  (How is Your love measured, O God, when You provide such care as this!)

my cup overflows.  (Overflow my cup, O Lord! In my gloom, show me Your bounty, Your all-encompassing grace, Your infinite value! Grant me eyes to see You through the fog.)

6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me  (Thank You, God, for Your undeserved mercy, for Your boundless goodness and love, for Your terrible sacrifice that covers me!)

all the days of my life,  (You, O God, have numbered my days and know my path. Give me courage to face each day. Stay my hand from the sin of despair in my remaining days.)

and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD  (To behold Your glory will make all suffering here a trifle. Oh, God! To sing Your praises in Your presence! To gaze on Your beauty forever! Keep my heart stayed on you, I pray.)

forever.  (Forever in Your presence, where You are the light. I long to see You clearly, not through this dark glass. Forever and ever and ever.)

English Standard Version (ESV)

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