May 25–Living the truth of the 23rd Psalm–Part 4

Day 4 of reading through the 23rd Psalm–a few verses at a time–and asking the LORD to show me (us!) what living the truth of His Word via the 23rd Psalm means each day. Whether it is a day of sadness, surprises or celebration. 

…Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

My LORD’s rod and staff are means of bringing comfort to me??? How can that be? 

My personal idea of comfort usually involves a long walk–preferably by a river, a lake or an ocean, a time of quiet and prayer and a cup of coffee while eating my favorite comfort food–Smucker’s Natural (Reduced Fat) Peanut Butter mixed with Nestle’s Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips.

The LORD’s rod and staff aren’t usually the first things I run to for comfort.

Yet, here it is for me–for us–to read that the rod and staff of our LORD–our Shepherd–are meant to bring us comfort. Really?? Absolutely.

 The Shepherd’s rod and staff are used as signs and instruments of His authority and leadership over His sheep. Our LORD–our Shepherd–is both our King and our Leader.

Our Shepherd may use His rod and staff–to show His rightful, loving authority and leadership over our lives–in gentle ways–always for our protection, always out of His deep love for us:

  • To show the way for us to go–His rod and staff an extension of His mighty arm–as He leads us. As He walks with us, staff in hand.
  • To count us, our Shepherd would use His rod–He does not want even one of us to be missing or lost.
  • To guide us to walk closely with Him and closer to each other–with a gentle tap from His rod or a gentle pull from the hook of His staff.
  • To rescue us from a fall we may have inadvertently taken–the hook of His staff could pull us back to safety.

Our Shepherd may use His rod and staff–His rightful, loving authority and leadership over our lives–in strong and hard ways–always for our protection, always out of His deep love for us:

  • To sharply, and sometimes painfully, hit us or pull us back with His rod and staff to show us that we are going the wrong way.
  • To show us that we are in danger–and we must turn around immediately and follow our Shepherd closely.
  • To correct our continual wandering away–the Shepherd may have to use His rod and staff to break our leg. Even this is out of His deep love for us. Our Shepherd would then pick us up, carry us on His shoulders to keep us close to Him as we heal, strengthen and learn to stay close to Him.
  • To ward off our enemies–the wild animals, the thieves–our Shepherd fiercely fights for us, passionately defends us and completely defeats all who would harm and destroy us.

There is peace, provision and passionate protection when we stay near to our LORD–our Shepherd–our King and our Leader. And out of His great love for us and His holy authority and leadership, our LORD–our Shepherd–will use His rod and His staff to keep us close to Him. The very best place we could ever be.

Read, again, today’s verse:

…Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

Yes, our LORD’s–our Shepherd’s–rod and staff are meant for our comfort.

And I’m thinking it would still probably be okay for me to take the LORD’s comfort–His loving and authoritative guidance, correction, discipline and protection–along with some peanut butter and chocolate chips.

In love, peace and purposeful passion,                                                               Sylane