Hi, friends! Welcome to the Psalm 23 Mug challenge, where I encourage you to spend time with your Shepherd from the first sip to the last of your morning coffee (or whatever you drink!) Here you will find prompts from Psalm 23 to pray through. Feel free to jump in any week, or you can start from the beginning here.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The staff is a multi-use tool that a shepherd uses to care for his flock. As a nomad, the shepherd had to travel with few possessions, so it was important that what he carried with him, he could use for many tasks.
- A walking stick
- A tool for defense against predators
- A tool to wave and shoo the flock in a certain direction
- A counting tool: A shepherd would count and examine each sheep as it passed “under the rod”
- The crook would be able to grab a sheep if it fell into crevice or climbed a rock higher than the shepherd could reach with hands
But the sheep did not see the staff as a tool. To the sheep, the staff is a tangible reminder of the truths it knows about the shepherd.
- He walks with me.
- He protects me.
- He shows me where I can and can not go so I stay safe.
- I matter. He is aware of my health.
- Even if I go where I should not, He can reach me and bring me back into His arms.
While you may not look at a shepherd’s staff and be comforted, I believe that God, in his unending pursuit to draw us closer to Himself, gives us all tangible reminders of His tender mercy and care throughout our day in order to keep our eyes away from worry and despair.
You are surrounded by people, objects, and situations that are little love notes that point you towards God’s Word and the truth about Himself.
And I know this may sound very silly, but for me- it’s birds. The red of a cardinal, the yellow of the goldfinch, the color under the wings of a tufted titmouse… to me they are all reminders of the gift of color. The flutter of small wings speak truth about the graciousness of our Creator to not have us live in a world that is only black and white and shadows. We could have been given a gray world, and He chose to not only fill it with color, but then gave us the ability to see it.
(Maybe that’s why I love my job so much. ) 🙂
Today as you meditate on this verse, I pray that God would give you the eyes to see the truths about Himself that He is trying to reveal to you. What will your “rod and staff” be? Today, your task is to go on adventure….start today’s scavenger hunt to find all the ways God is pursuing you and trying to draw you closer to Himself with His little love notes. I can’t wait for you to start this day, and neither can your Shepherd.
Here is a song of praise to the God of the hills and valleys who is walking beside you.
Blessings, sweet friend,
Please post a photo of your mug with #Psalm23mugchallenge (or screen shot and share my image) to encourage others to join us! I’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections from the day’s challenge.