The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;
2 he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters;[a]
3 he restores my soul.[b]
He leads me in paths of righteousness [c]
for his name’s sake ...
Psalm 23 RSV
What a compassionate God we have! Before we even needed them, He used the psalmists to write us love notes of encouragement, like these:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present [a]
help in trouble.
Psalm 42:1 RSV
Cast your burden [f] on the Lord, and he will sustain you;
he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 55:22 RSV
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love;
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
Psalm 42:8 RSV
Have you ever felt like that, Dear Reader? You've worked yourself up into a frenzy, and then God ... Perhaps your love note from God came in the form of a kind word from a colleague, or a text from a friend. I love the psalms and how they so often reflect the angst or praise of my spirit, but God will use whatever it takes to encourage His children.
When James started kindergarten, I went back to college. It took eight hard years for me to complete my teaching degree and secure a teaching position. One psalm in particular soothed my soul, Psalm 91. My constant companion for several years, now my Bible literally falls open to it.
So often during those days, and many since, the last few verses have been a lifeline to my Savior:
14 Because he cleaves to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
and show him my salvation.
Psalm 91: 14-16 RSV
Has someone helped you up with just the right words of encouragement, Dear Reader? How has God blessed you as you became the living, breathing word of God to someone else? When you are needing encouragement or comfort from the Good Shepherd, where do you turn?