Psalms 23: Process - Protection - Provision

On today, I shared one of my most transparent posts via Facebook and I've now decided to turn it into a blog post.  For those that know of, and/or follow me, you may know that I share candidly regarding my business and social events, but I rarely, if ever, share anything of my personal life.  Some would say that I'm very guarded and sometimes standoffish, but that's just me.  I've mastered the art of being sociable, but I'm still very reserved when it comes to my intimate thoughts.

The post I shared on Facebook was this:  

The last two months have been insanely difficult for me. I was sick and in pain mostly all of December (I hid it very well) and even going into January (I'm better now thank God). Then due to a coding issue with my social security number, my daughter's health insurance shows inactive and she's now treated as a "cash" patient until its resolved. To top that, issues I thought I had resolved with my vehicle errupted on today and now I have to tackle that (more money to be spent). All while trying to maintain a full time career, business and come up with new concepts (not to mention parenting a child with health issues). My breaking point was today . . . . at the height of my frustration, I've cussed (yeah, yeah, I know better), I've sat quietly and stared off into space, and finally I prayed (probably should have done that first). In praying, I couldn't find words to say anything else, other than God help me.
Shortly thereafter, comes an email response from a celebrity client and friend backing my next business move . . . . . . . BUT GOD! When you're at your darkest, he'll send you a glimpse of light to encourage you to keep moving.

I'm breaking away from the normal style post and sharing with you my favorite passage of scripture because it truly pertains to every step of my life.  No matter where I am in life, and no matter what I'm going through, I can refer to this common psalm of David.  We've all probably read it time and time again, and can more than likely recite it word for word, but the meaning is so significant that we often times take it for granted.

Psalm 23New King James Version (NKJV)

The Lord the Shepherd of His People

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[a] in the house of the Lord
In reading this scripture it really didn't connect with me until I broke it down into parts.  I couldn't sleep a few weeks back, so I decided to read my Bible, and this is where I landed.  Now I'll be the first to admit that I'm no biblical scholar, nor am I a preacher or teacher of the word, but I read and study for my own personal understanding.  Here it goes . . . . . 

For me, this text breaks down into 3 P's - process, protection, and provision.  The first three verses are great!  The Lord is my shepherd, I don't have to want for anything, I'm enjoying and napping in the green pastures and the waters are calm.  We all love that part, but then, in verse 4 I begin walking through this valley experience.  Now wait a minute God, I don't want to go through the valley (this is the conversation I'm having in my head) but then it dawns on me that this is the 1st P - process.  Process is defined as a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.  Knowing that, I now question, do I really have the right to question or be mad at the process.  The answer is no, simply because of the last part of the definition, "to achieve a particular end", so that tells me that this process is taking me somewhere!

So now that I've accepted the process of verse 4, my next reaction was to speed or hurry the process, lol.  Hey, I'm only human, I'm trying to get in and get out.  But again, I was wrong there too.  So I reference back to the scripture "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death," . . . . I kept reading this part over and over until finally I caught the key words walk and valley.  If you're like me you really don't want to walk through the valley, especially when you dealing with adversity.  Let me sprint through it really quick and get out.  But the definition of walk dictates that you move at a regular and fairly slow pace by lifting and setting down each foot in turn, never having both feet off the ground at once.  So there you have it, in order for me to make it through this valley, I must walk, stedfast and confident in my God.  So then I questioned how is it that I walk through this valley without tiring and becoming famished?  Maybe I slept in social studies and geology class (any maybe you did too) because it didn't initially dawn on me that historically a valley has a river running through it.  [inserts praise break right here]  How amazing is God to shape and mold you during the process, but he also provides nourishment to keep you from tiring.

Not only does he supply the needed nourishment, he then protects me; "I will fear no evil; For you are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."  Now my conversation with myself has gone from why am I going through this, to why am I tripping?  My God is great, there's NOTHING he can't protect me from.  And when he's ready for me to move forward into what he has for me, he allows provision; "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; . . . . . Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;".  It gets no better than that, to have a God that loves me enough to shape me by pushing me through the process, protecting me while I'm in it, and providing provision for me beyond that process.

After having a quick moment of being human, my faith is restored and I'm walking through my process with the expectation of promise at the end!

Have a wonderful week!

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