Early in January of 2020, I began writing a series of devotional readings for an annual program for the Anglican Church in North America. I had a great theme and a catchy working title, but this book is not that.
Because two weeks after I started outlining the work, I ran into a wall.
COVID-19. The Coronavirus. The Pandemic.
It changed everything. Oh, I had plenty of time to write— we all did! —but I struggled with what to say.
I could not fathom what was happening around the world and in my country. Our political and medical leaders appeared on the television every day warning us of a cresting wave of sickness and death. The economy was at a standstill. Job losses were staggering.
I grieved for all the families that were so terribly hurt by the novel coronavirus.
In my quiet times during the morning hours, as I tried to process and pray through the unfolding catastrophe, I happened to read Psalm 23.
As the pandemic wore on, I found myself returning to it every day for comfort, clarity, and strength. I said it over and over in my mind and in my prayers. I have known it well. It is one of the few Psalms I have memorized for quick playback when needed. But the more I repeated this poem of King David, the more it seemed to me that these well-known verses were more than beautiful lines from an ancient time. In the days of the pandemic, these verses seemed more like promises to me.
Every day I began the psalm by placing the word “When” before it.
It changed me.
When I spoke the word “When” it seemed to me that every image, phrase, metaphor, and line pointed to something that was promised to me when I asked the Lord to be the Shepherd in my life.
With a grateful heart for the Lord’s presence, I offer the book
When the Lord is My Shepherd: Finding Hope in a Hard Time
(Now available on Amazon)
Many readers are enduring difficult times, or know someone who is. Psalm 23 has a remarkable way of speaking into personal pain, fear, and anxiety that many people feel.
It had done that for me.
I believe that you will find that Psalm 23 is an ode to a confident faith. Confidence in God is the theme from the first words of the poem to the last line of it. In this time, for this season, for this day, we need to hear these words from the shepherd boy who became a king.
When the Lord is My Shepherd is a guide to help people come to trust God and his love for them for the first time.
If events in your life have made you wonder about God’s love for you, I hope this will lead you on a journey to regain your trust and confidence in the Lord.
You can begin reading When the Lord is My Shepherd by requesting the first chapter free below!