The Word — Keep walking: Take Psalm 23 along for the journey

Published 11:00 am Sunday, June 26, 2022

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Life is hard sometimes, ain’t it? Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Ever have moments of despair? Have you ever entered those dark valleys of life and wondered if you were ever gonna make it out? Feel alone and lost?

Life so often has us feeling like we are drowning and struggling to catch our breath and keep on moving. We wonder if anyone else feels this way, if anyone else notices our struggles and if anyone else even cares. Sometimes life keeps pushing us back and holding us down and we wonder if we will ever make it out or if it’s even worth trying to make it any farther.

Erase those thoughts from your head! (I know, it is easier said than done).

Go read one of the most famous passages of scripture again right now. Psalm 23. Growing up, my dad made me memorize this once in teaching me a lesson. It was the best punishment he could have ever given me as these words stuck and in my line of work, I use these words all the time. Let’s read them right now, ok?

“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever (PSALM 23, NLT).”

Go read verse 4 again. “Even when I walk through the darkest valley (or the valley of the shadow of death as I learned growing up)…”

I need you to memorize this verse alone if you don’t memorize this whole Psalm. And why do I want you to memorize this? There are multiple reasons, but the main reason is this: Keep walking.

When life hits us and we feel down and depressed, we stop. We sulk. We pout. We overwhelm ourselves with constantly replaying and dwelling on the darkness. God here tells you through King David: “Keep walking.” As we walk through those dark valleys of life, not as we camp out. Not as we plant ourselves in the dark times and moments.

Life can get the best of all of us. Keep walking knowing God has You covered. Lord, keep me moving.

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at jamescameronbailey@gmail. com.