The Good Shepherd

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet 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 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 lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalm 23 (NASB)

This psalm never gets old for me. The more I read it, the more revelation the Lord gives me. In every season we go through, He can bring a fresh promise that applies to it because His Word is living and active.

I sure do need that reminder in the season I am in. Everywhere I turn these days, there is something around me changing. So much of my life feels unsteady, and though I’m not one for change, the older I get, the more I’m learning to embrace it. That is most assuredly a work of the Holy Spirit.

In times of transition, I desperately need to remember that Jesus is my Shepherd, that He is a good Shepherd who will tend, guide, and instruct me. I need to remember the weight of my circumstances doesn’t rest on my shoulders because after all, I’m not God. Sometimes I forget that. Sometimes I think I know better. Sometimes I think my plans are perfect or that I can fix everything.

 

To read the rest, join me over at Incourage!

Growing through Conflict and Misunderstanding

Being misunderstood and judged is one of my worst fears. I pride myself on being forthright and direct in what I do and say, so when someone misunderstands my motives, I am at a loss.

Not too long ago, I had an amazing experience at church — an ordained moment that surprised and encouraged me. It filled me with such life and hope that it felt as though I were on cloud nine. But soon afterwards, someone approached me and questioned my experience. I was taken aback by her words, and I tried to explain myself while holding back tears.

Though her intentions weren’t meant to offend me, her words still hurt, affecting different areas of my life, my thoughts, and my emotions. We prayed together over the situation and over my heart, and I was grateful for those prayers.

When conflict and misunderstandings come my way, I need all the help I can get. Usually when it happens, I tend to over-tell my side of the story so the other person could hopefully know where I’m coming from. And once the shock of being misunderstood wears off, I become angry — angry for having my motives questioned, angry at the whole situation. But that experience and in the days following it, the Holy Spirit reminded me of this truth:

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
James 1:19-20 (ESV)

 

To read the rest, join me over at Incourage!

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