The Christmas tree psalm

< * >
my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down
in green pastures; He leads
me beside still waters. He restores
my soul; He guides me in the paths
of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of
the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for
You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they
comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the
presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head
with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy
will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the
of the
Psalm 23

‘Tis the season to feel stressed out, to feel that Time cares little whether we have crossed off our to-do items for the day and definitely won’t slow down to let us catch up. We can’t tackle Time and make him give us more hours in each day. So instead, what if we focus on what we can change: our mindset. 

I’ve shaped Psalm 23 into a Christmas tree here to help you think of it in a new way this season. The psalm tells me that because the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. In this season of so much want (both real and fabricated), the promise is true and bears repeating again until it sinks in: I shall not want. I shall not want. As we hurry about our Christmas preparations, let’s cling to this Christmas tree psalm in the coming days. It promises much.

Because of His promise to give me rest in green pastures and beside quiet waters, I shall not want.

Because He is with me always, whether I am in the valley or in the presence of enemies, I shall not want.

There’s a feast prepared and a dazzling home promised, and, therefore, I shall not want.

Remember these promises, my friends. Repeat the truth of this psalm to yourself during the long wait at the traffic signal that you always seem to catch as it’s turning red, or the security line at the airport when the elderly couple in front of you has clearly not traveled since 9/11, or the line at the cash register that doesn’t budge as fast lines around you disappear quickly.

Repeat the truth of this psalm during the shark-circling tactics looking for a place to park at the mall and while the screaming baby (yours or someone else’s) distracts you from your shopping list.

Repeat the truth of this psalm while you visit the hospital or the graveside, a visit that leaves you feeling cold about celebrations and bells ringing and carols and laughter and merriment.

Repeat the truth, as often as it takes, until it transforms your thinking. And then, perhaps, you will find yourself wanting to repeat the sounding joy.

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