Psalm 23 — personally paraphrased

You are my shepherd. I will never lack any good thing. My desire is for You alone. Let all earthly pleasures be as nothing to me.

You give me rest as nothing else. The circumstances You put me in are the best for me. Teach me to view them as such. Teach me to thank You for every situation, for each one is from You.

Your guidance is always the best. You lead me in ways that are not too difficult for me. No matter what may be going on along the bank, teach me to keep my eyes on the beautiful stream of blessings that springs forth from You — the Source of all goodness. Though worries and cares of this life threaten to swallow me up, keep me in Your rest. Teach me to sit still and quietly by Your stream — Your Word that brings rest to my troubled soul.

You have restored my soul forever to You. I would be lost without Your mercy. You have restored fellowship with me though I had no desire for it. My relationship with You is wholly due to Your effort.

You lead me in paths of righteousness. You do not leave me to find them on my own. For, I could not. My eyes are blind to the finding of wise ways. Were it not for Your Spirit, Father, I would meander forever in mediocre attempts to please which only puffs up my own pride. Thank you for pleasing Yourself through me. Somehow, You make it work, and I can just rest in You, knowing that You do lead me in all the ways that I should go. Remind me continually that I exist for Your glory alone, and that I ought to view my life as a gift to give back to You in praise.

Though I face many trials and fires and slippery slopes, I will hold on to You. You’ve never let Your children fall to the depths. You’ve always kept them upright. I can trust that You will never change in Your dealings with Your children. Nothing can separate me from Your love. Even death for me is only a gateway to knowing You better. Therefore I will not fear — not the evil within nor the evil without — for it all is subject to You. The knowledge that You are with me assures me that I face nothing alone. When evil knocks at the door, You are here to strengthen me against the temptation. For the many times I wasn’t even aware of evil lurking and You sent it away, I thank you.

Thank You for using Your rod and staff with me. All Your dealings are loving. You discipline those You love and You shepherd those in Your fold. Far rather would I have Your rod than evil’s whip applied to my back. Your chastening is always followed by a restoring embrace. Teach me to remember these things when I am tempted to despair. Your comfort, though it appears not so to those outside Your fold, is worth all sorrow endured.

Your table is laden with good things. The banquet you spread before me is made up of food that never spoils. Even the tiniest morsel savored can sustain me for a day. Never will I lack any necessary nourishment. Teach me to not seek a table elsewhere. Teach me that there is no other lasting food except the food of Your Word. Cause me to daily come to Your table with a hearty appetite. Never let me fast from it. Teach me that I will never live if I do not live by Your table.

Though the war over my soul continues, I know that You have won the fight. Though I am surrounded by enemies. they cannot take away Your table from me. It is not open to them. It is laden with food they know nothing of.

You anoint me with oil. I am Your honored guest. Why You should honor me with such hospitality is too much for me to grasp. All I can do is accept Your gifts and proclaim Your worth. You fill my cup to overflowing. In every aspect of life You sustain me. Your provision is enough for me. It is more than enough. You have given me all I need for life and godliness, so help me live for You alone. Cause me to give you the honor due unto Your name.

Your goodness and mercy are everlasting. Though Your wrath will come to an end, Your mercy endures forever. You delight in showing compassion. Cause me to never forget Who You are. Open my eyes to truth. Help me to see You continually. Thank you for not leaving me to myself. Thank You for continuing the work of sanctification in me. Thank You for not stopping with the work of justification. Thank You for purposing to lead me all the way, even to glorification. Teach me to submit to You in all things. When I am encompassed with seemingly impassable trails, remind me that Your guidance never leads to a dead end. You always have a good plan. Teach me to see You rightly, not tainted by what I see all around me.

You have prepared a home in Heaven for me. Make me more and more joyfully expectant of Your eternal kingdom. Cause me to eagerly anticipate being with You. For there would be no Heaven without You, and Heaven would not be Heaven without You. Teach me continually to delight in You and not in Your gifts, for earthly pleasures pass away, but You will never pass away. Draw me deeper and deeper into Your heart. Show me more and more of Who You are. Thank You for doing so gradually, for if I would see all Your glory at once I would not be able to bear it. Guide me moment by moment into a greater knowledge of You. Teach me to love You more and more as I ought.

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This entry was posted in journal.

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