When I can't sleep, I try to remember Psalm 23.
It might be because it's the only scripture I know by heart. Or it might be because it reminds me of the first real Bible I received from my middle school pastor.
When I first read Psalm 23, it was a calming sanctuary. My parents were in the midst of a painful divorce and I was constantly worried about what would happen next. Yet, God was there. The church and the sweet community became the one thing that I could count on. The pastor, in his knowing ways, placed that first Bible in my hands, and it became something good to hold on to. It was the start of a journey of God’s healing ways and a hope that would sustain through the years. In many ways, Psalm 23 started it all for me.
What I love about the Psalms is their honesty. Truly, they capture love, desperation, hope, fears, and longings for God. They are poetry and song, shouts and whisperings, the very human heart seeking the touch of the Father. I find it surprising, yet perfect, that God would not just give us a Bible with guideposts, rules, history, and lessons, but also honest heart words to show us how He understands all of the human condition.
Now on sleepless nights, I find myself back to those same words again. This week I picked up my children's Bible from the 1970s and it looks so dated. But it holds a sweet place of comfort and reminder. A reminder of the words that sustained me as an awkward middle schooler then and how they continue to sustain me now.
What about You?
What sustains you during times of worry, anxiety, and fear? If you are new to the Bible or haven't read Psalm 23 in a while, here's your official invitation to revisit it again. Or if you know it well, consider re-reading it to see if you find something new. I'm learning that God's word is fresh in every season. For me, its goodness remains as a sanctuary then and still a sanctuary now.
As we welcome the spring season, allow the calming words of Psalm 23 to renew your heart.