Treasures In The Darkness

Have you ever read Psalm 23 and thought that it didn’t pertain to you? After all, you aren’t in the shadow of death. But have you really read it closely?

I am doing a study by Aimee Walker on Psalm 23 titled, The Good Shepherd

One of the things that has come around full circle for me has been the beautiful truth of God as a caring shepherd. The past couple of years has been excruciating for me personally. I have known the valley. I have dreaded the valley. Amidst the valley my soul felt surrounded by darkness (shadows). But God in his goodness has taken care of my soul.

A couple months ago I realized the gift of the valley. Much like many others, my view of it was skewed. I saw it and thought I shouldn’t be there. Some days I questioned it’s fairness. But there are treasures to be gained in the valleys. There are treasures stored in secret places, in those dark places. If you are willing to press into the shepherds cloak and stay near him the valley will become a gift to you.

While there it can become your invitation to a deeper intimacy with the Lord. Still waters, and lush green grass await you (v. 1,2) . Even amidst enemies as stated in verse 5, it says that he prepares a table for you and anoints your head with oil. This is all in the valley!

Did you know you can find rest amidst it all? Yes, you can. “He makes me lie down” (v. 2) can be a command and an invitation to rest. I didn’t know it was possible to enjoy rest with horrific and exhausting circumstances still occuring. But in my valley the Lord has taught me how. It is one treasure I found in the darkness.

He is a good Shepherd. He takes good care of his sheep. The valley is often the place we dread but He has prepared it to be a place where you find strength again and increased hope. It is the place of intimacy. Great treasures are stored in this place. It is the place that even your enemies will look and wonder why you are protected and receive the victory.

Come close to your Shepherd. He loves and cares for you. Let his healing oil drench you. Drink from the waters and rest.

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Do you need rest? What circumstances make you feel like you are unable to rest near your Shepherd? Please share with me and I will pray specifically for you and your situation.

Better Than The Lilies

There is a statement I keep saying this year, “He clothes me better than the lilies.”

This is a significant statement about how I trust the Lord. He has always provided for our needs plus some.

It has been our priority to take care of our daughter first. We pay hundreds a month for her care (even though she rarely sees half of it) and then we make sure she has all she needs in our care. With her constant growth spurts this means that any new clothes for us come not out of our own pockets but as a blessing from others.

I have been blown away in the last month and at scattered times throughout the past year! I practically have a new wardrobe. You may not know but I’ve kept things even as things faded, stunk (sorry armpits), and tore (I still have items from before college). I now can get rid of these because of generous ladies who have shown great love for me. They keep giving me very nice clothes (brands I could not shop for).

I truly believe this great outpouring is because I (my husband too) have gone without for years to ensure our daughter has had clothes to wear. There were moments when we could not even afford to purchase her clothes and the Lord always provided with hand me downs from other families. He has always taken care of us.

We have celebrated this year because we’ve enjoyed shopping for clothes for her. It has given us great joy to be able to do so after many years of struggling. I have not cared that all the clothes money goes to her. She comes first.

Becauseof this I have come to understand how proud God is for how we love our girl. He clothes me better than the lilies because he loves me. Every time I wear a new-to-me item of clothing I feel so much love. I know whose I am. It is a reminder that if God cares enough to clothe me like royalty that all the other impossible and difficult things will come to pass in time.

Hallelujah!