Goodness and Mercy

3 Apr

Psalm 23:

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.

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.

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.

This is one good Psalm; it was written by David, the same guy that killed Goliath.  It’s a constant reminder that God is with me and with you.  But as awesome as this psalm is, whenever I read it or hear someone quote it, my immediate thoughts are not of God’s unfailing love and faithfulness.  Nope.  I start bobbing my head and I see Coolio’s crazy hair and Michelle Pfeiffer.  Yep.  My mind goes straight to Gangsta’s Paradise…how very un “pastor wife” like of me huh?  So Pastor Ray, if you quote this verse during service and I start giggling, don’t take it personally.  😉

I was at the Women’s Conference at my old church a few years ago and Pastor Shelly spoke about verse 6.  She was brilliant and I’ll do my best to share it with you.  I always interpreted verse 6 as goodness and mercy follow me because God gives it freely and it’s a gift for me to receive so where ever I go, goodness and mercy are there too.  That is true but her point of view was different.  It was more that this is something you do, not receive.

Visualize this.  If something follows you, it’s behind you.  Kinda like when you walk in sand, footprints are behind you, you left them there, they remain.  See where I’m going with this?  If goodness and mercy follow you, they are behind you, you leave them there.  She said you should live a life where you leave behind goodness and mercy wherever you go.  When you leave a room, you want it to be better than when you entered.

So when you’re at the store and the old lady has parked her cart in the middle of the isle and she has her hearing aids off and can’t hear you say excuse me and just stands there trying to figure out which kind of bread to get and all you want to do is grab a loaf and throw it in her cart and you yell at her, DON’T DO IT!!!!!  That is the exact opposite of goodness and mercy following you.

I used to think goodness and mercy were my gift.  I liked to think it was something I received without having to do anything.  They are but because Jesus gives those to me freely and on a daily basis, I should, in return, give them freely to others on a daily basis.

Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you…welcome to my brain.

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