1 THE Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.2 He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. [Rev. 7:17.]3 He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him–not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.4 Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.6 Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.
Life’s Hills & Valleys
In our lives, we often have; both mountaintop and valley experiences. No One is immune to these circumstances or situations. From the greatest artists, composers, musicians, or leadership e’en to the regular man or woman, boy or girl whether at home, at educational institutions or e’en in our professional business careers. We all have our blues, now & then. Often we experience the best or worst days of our lives.
We may e’en miss the goals, which we have set for ourselves. I remember when in clothing retail sales, the company for whom I worked, regularly set targets for us. These targets were set for us through management. When we made our targets, we received one percent of the target value, as a bonus besides our salary. Then we would work to take our targets.
Sometimes when it seemed, we wouldn’t be able to take our targets, we would try to help the one who might be closest to take their target. We would also; work as a team to help one another, where or when possible. In so doing we were able to build, encourage, each other. We were able to cultivate a strong team, and spirit. Often thru these actions, we would be amazed as to how often we would all meet our goal.
When one of our colleagues, were down, despondent, discouraged, we found ways of boosting, and encouraging them. In so doing we would encourage one another. For if one hurts, or feels discouraged, then we all would feel it. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the company closed all the branches. Including the branch I had been working with.
I had been with the company for seventeen years. My wife and I had been married seven years. Our sons were born two years from each other. In the meantime we had done different things so we needn’t have lack. Altho we had our own property, after an eleven year period, we had to give up our house. We bought a franchise “One World Travel; ” with our remaining funds, hoping we would be able to make a living.
While trying to run the franchise, we found out, the people from whom we bought the franchise, were bankrupt. We lost ev’rything we put in the franchise. Later we were between positions. There had been no position, available for us. We learnt to trust the Lord for His provision, during these times of lack.
Altho the circumstances had been diverse, we had also seen times of victory. Remember nobody is perfect. We all have mountain tops and valleys, which we need to climb, rivers to cross. Some Days everything seems okay, other days all seems to be against us. Sometimes these are tests and trials, we need to face. Don’t get me wrong; I do not say I have all the answers, neither do I say I’ve overcome in ev’ry area of my life.
Both, Paul and David, try giving us a better idea. For when looking at their life, both had their storms, valleys and mountain top experiences. Both messed up, and did wickedly. Yet when they walked and talked about their relationship, they had with their Lord, you find the greatness of The Lord’s Grace and Mercy, toward them. Yes e’en Simon Peter messed up badly. The Lord looks not as we look , He looks upon our hearts.
What is hidden, deep down in the valley of our heart, has a way of coming to the fore. We’re reminded that which is in our heart, will flow through our lips, our mouth, our tongue. Therefore we are to guard our heart, for from out of it flow, the issues of our life. Death and life are in the power of our tongue. David knew of these things, that is why; he often asked, prayed the Lord to put, a watch, a guard upon his lips, mouth and tongue.
Recently, at work, one of our clients came, and noticed I had been wearing a round neck tshirt a pair of denim shorts and casual shoes (tekkies). He commented that I looked like a person on a camp, or ready to climb a hill/mountain. Replying, I said: – “Often through the camps of life, we have mountains to climb, and valleys to see.” Often we have to climb the top of a mountain, to see the distance travelled, and the valleys which may lie ahead. Both mountain tops and valleys, have their moments of beauty and their moments of trouble.
They also have tests, trials, costs, prices & prizes to behold. Oft we need to, count the cost to be paid. Are we willing to take on these life challenges? Taste victory, be able to overcome. Or would, we rather, remain stagnant remain in the comfort zones of life. All great champions, leaders, men and women of God, underwent different tests and trials, throughout their lives, to become, reach the goals, targets which had been set before them.
Remember life has always been a challenge. This is what Paul was referring to, when writing about running life’s race, fighting the good fight of Faith, walking through the tests and trials of life. For we are not able to overcome without, the Lord fighting for us; giving us the victory. Yes we are not able to live our life without the Lord’s divine intervention, in our lives.