The Lord Is My Shepherd

I recently purchased a house, and it was one of the most stressful and intimidating experiences of my life! Buying a house is probably always stressful, but it was especially challenging for me because I am a single woman living halfway across the country from my family. I am part of a very loving church and there were countless people who helped me at different points, however, I still felt alone and overwhelmed frequently.

IMG_3671Despite all that, I have learned that it’s in the times when I’m stressed and feel alone that God’s presence is most evident to me. The Lord has truly taken care of me during this home-buying process, and He has poured out blessing upon blessing. It’s amazing to reflect on all the things that lined up for me to buy the house – opportunities in which God showed favor to me, whether financially, through physical help from people, or generous gifts. The Lord has really shown His provision to me and given me great comfort. I’ve been in the house for several weeks now and have started paying the bills, and I don’t have buyer’s remorse! That is a significant blessing considering the amount of my savings that has gone into this house and the number of hours I’ve spent cleaning, repairing, and trying to sort through a challenging process that I’ve never been through before.

IMG_3676IMG_3677IMG_3675The living room – the only room that isn’t full of boxes still. A free couch and huge blessing!

I have been reading through Psalms, and Psalm 23 has really stood out to me. It’s a well-known passage, but I want to dig a little deeper and use my home-buying process as an example that may be more applicable to our day that sheep herding.

Psalm 23: The Lord Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake. (Verses 1-3)

We all know that a shepherd cares for the flock and protects the sheep from harm. Having worked with animals before, I know that it is a tough job and requires substantial physical output, in rain or shine, and that there are many risks involved. I want you to now hone in on the last line of verse 3, “for his name’s sake”. When God cares for us, it is for His glory. He is deserving of all praise, and His actions glorify Himself. I walked through multiple houses over the course of four months’ time and liked a few of them. I put in an offer on one that I was ecstatic about, but the offer fell through. At the time it was upsetting, but now I can look back with gratitude because God was saving me for a house that was a much better fit for me and much more affordable. I can praise God for that guidance and give Him the glory.

Even 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. (Verse 4)

The ‘rod’ is a club used for protecting the sheep, and the staff is hook used to guide the sheep. I encourage you to reflect on your life and consider the many times when you were redirected. If you’re like me, you can see some of the dangers that God has protected you from, times when you wanted something to go your way but God redirected you and spared you from harm. Although God can use difficult times to teach us and strengthen us, He also spares us from many dangers through His protection and guidance.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Verses 5-6)

God provides abundantly for his children. Those blessings may be physical, but I think more often they are emotional and spiritual blessings. In my home-buying adventure, I saw the church’s generosity more abundantly than I had ever seen before in my own life. Numerous people came over to help me do repairs, paint, clean, and move. There was a wonderful man in my church who I had never met before who donated his time and resources to do plumbing repairs for me. I was blown away by the generosity I encountered, including from people I hardly knew. Beyond those physical blessings, God provided for me emotionally and spiritually. Many times I wanted to melt into a puddle of tears on the floor, but He consistently held me together or reassembled me after a meltdown. Looking back, the stress and trials pale in comparison with the joy I have in owning a place of my own. Not only is this home within my price range, but it also is located in my favorite neighborhood and near good friends. And it is a block away from a donut shop!

One of the biggest lessons I learned during this process was that God can be trusted! He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (present everywhere), and entirely trustworthy. Nothing escapes His eye. Nothing is beyond His control. He cares for His children and pours out his blessings on them in numerous ways. On top of all of that, the joy we experience in this life is just a hint of what we will experience during eternity in heaven with our Savior. I can hardly wait!


 

About the Author

View More: http://alyssamartinphoto.pass.us/kristen-culp-portraitsKristen C.

I am a Christ-loving woman who is continually being stretched by the Lord. I live in small-town Texas and love playing soccer, baking cookies, playing games and hugging trees. I split my time between working towards the conservation of endangered species and training up the next generation of children and youth at my church.