By Chap. (Maj.) Maury Millican, Multi-National Battle Group-East ChaplainMarch 10, 2010
Warriors through the ages have drawn strength and encouragement from "lessons learned" recorded in Psalm 23. The Shepherd Psalm contains wisdom, inspiration and comfort for all situations of life, even in the face of danger and death.
When I am spiritually dry and thirsty, I look for a source of refreshment and renewal. Psalm 23 is just one well-spring of insight into the bigger picture.
Take a moment, and drink in these words of life:
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he
leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of
righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23 gives us perspective and reminds us that our needs are already met. All the things we chase after, we do not really need. A new truck, a new motorcycle, a big screen television, an expensive vacation - these things do not ultimately satisfy our deeper needs for love, hope, and guidance.
When life is stressful and uncertain, we have the promise of leadership "beside still waters." When we are depleted, we can be restored and renewed. Even the toughest Soldier needs renewal of body, mind and spirit.
When we face danger and "walk through the valley of the shadow of death," we can be assured that we will be cared for. If we truly realize the peace promised in this Psalm, we can live in the presence of our enemies without fear. No matter how old or how young we are, someone is watching over us.
If we take a moment and reflect on all that we already have, especially as free people, we can know first-hand the reality of the psalmist: "My cup runneth over." Even though we experience hardships throughout life, we can still see goodness and mercy following us all of our days.
When we are old and our days have been lived, and our soldiering has been completed, we will recognize these signs of assurance. And we can face the future with a sense of destiny and confidence.
It is difficult to be deployed for so long, separated from the ones who love us and the life that is so good at home. We become thirsty. Take a moment, and drink in these words of life from the Shepherd Psalm.