“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 honour 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 honour 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.” Psalms 23:1-6 NLT
Much has been said and written about Psalm 23. This word picture of a man totally immersed in his relationship with God is an inspiration and source of comfort to many, and in particularly to grieving people at a graveside. But it describes a way of life that is so much more meaningful than a photograph pulled out of a drawer in a dark moment, and replaced when the storm has passed. David, the Psalmist, was in a relationship with God that totally shaped his life and personality. A 24/7 relationship that endured. Yes, he had his dark moments when God seemed absent or far away. And yes, he screwed up big time on occasion. But he always came home to his “house of the Lord” assured by God’s love and goodness. And his legacy is found in Jesus, the “Son of David”. An epitaph that encourages us all with its link between humanity and our Creator God. Through Jesus we have the same opportunity to write our own particular and personal version of Psalm 23. Our own story of our relationship with God that will encourage those of our generation, our family and friends, if we are willing to share it. David did, and so must we.