The opening words of the Good News Bible says it all - 'The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need'. Like everyone else, I have experienced good times and bad times, but looking back, never has God abandoned me. God has become my best friend and it is on him I have learned to depend.
'Fields of green grass' and 'quiet pools of fresh water' creates such a peaceful landscape, especially set amongst the chaos of world news and events. However, sometimes this landscape is in the distance and we have to negotiate mud and scrub to get there but once there, no wonder God's peacefulness 'gives me new strength'
or as other versions say 'He restores my soul'.
Recently when I was having one of those normal (for me anyway) darker days, a lovely lady whom I had not seen for ages, put a bouquet of flowers in my supermarket trolley and said 'Happy Mothers' Day'. We hugged and teared up in the supermarket aisle as this was such a beautiful gesture. Another day, a different friend left a nice smelly candle for me at our front door - those moments are 'He restores my soul' moments.
'He guides me in the right paths as he has promised' is something which I can attest to over the years. It is so easy to go our own way and stuff up our life and often the lives of those nearest and dearest, but to follow our Shepherd, 'even through the deepest darkness' means that we do not need to be afraid of the outcome, for 'your Shepherd's rod and staff protect me'. I find that a beautiful picture to imagine.
I have always had a problem with the banquet where all my enemies can see me, but on thinking it over, to me it represents God's victory over those who would oppose my Christian witness, - God cannot be put down, even when people try their hardest - not that I have experienced anything remotely like what persecuted Christians in other countries, experience. God is victorious!
A Christian is not exempt from doubts, but in the last verse, we have the ultimate promise not only for our life here on earth, but for eternity 'I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life and your house will be my home forever.'
'The Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need'.