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Psalm 23:4-5 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; you 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 overflows.
Do you feel like you are walking in the midst of a hard season, where it seems that the battle for peace is unrelentless. You see everything swarming around you and you feel overwhelmed by it all, looking around in circles thinking how am I going to navigate through this? I have been walking through a season that has been hard to navigate as the Lord reveals things to me, but this verse came to mind but in a different way.
You see, I grew up in church, I have heard Psalm 23 repeated many times and even memorized it when I was young and can repeat it, but it wasn’t until recently that these two verses struck me, especially “you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” I mean that seems kinds of weird right?
Yet, the Lord gave me this image while I read these verses. I was sitting at a picnic table, feeling overwhelmed, crying out to the Lord for help. I was so focused on looking up at the things swarming around me literally, that I didn’t recognize that Jesus had come and sat down at the table. It was then that I heard His voice and turned to look at Him, as He was sitting right in front of me. He said why are you so focused on everything up there – pointing to the the things swarming around me. I looked back at him confused, then He said gently to me “daughter look at me, keep your eyes right here” as he pointed to himself. He then went on “if you keep focusing in on all that is swarming around you it will eventually consume you and you will lose sight of what is most important and you will start to feel it pull you under. Keep your eyes on me and me alone, I will never let you forget who you are, I will never lie to you, I will never put you down, I will never tell you that you are not good enough, or that you don’t belong I am not the enemy, they are (as he pointed up). I came to set you free, so that you would have life, I alone gave you life that is everlasting and I alone am truth, I will never speak ill of you, I rejoice over you. So my daughter remember that when you are walking through the darkness or through the valley that you must keep your eyes on me.”
As I sat thinking about that image and His words, I remember feeling relieved. I am called to focus in on my Father. It is when I have my eyes fully on Him that He can fight for me. Exodus 14:14 tells us, “The Lord will fight for you and you have only to be silent.” What a relief, that God can walk into any circumstance we are walking through and literally set up a table for us to sit at and as we sit and focus in on Him, He fights for us on our behalf. Praise be to God, this alone should bring us to our knees, praising God for His Might and Glory, I know that it has for me. It has pointed my eyes to the cross and the One who took my place, the Glory of his shed blood, the resurrected life, and the promise that He is preparing a place for me and calls me daughter.
Oh Father, let us keep our eyes on you. Continue to lift up our eyes to see your face in the midst of the battle waging around us. No matter our circumstances Father, let us cry out to you, for you call us sons and daughters of the most High King and you come to the defense of your children. To you we cry out and lay down our struggles, circumstances, any burdenes we are carrying, we lay them at your feet and trust that you will carry us on Lord! To you be the Glory, in the name of Jesus we pray, Amen!