The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, 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. Psalm 23:1-4

There are days that I’m overwhelmed by love. Being blessed with small children there are times that I’m ready to pull my hair out, and then other times I’m overwhelmed with how much I truly love them. No matter what they do…good or bad…God created them for me to raise. This thought overwhelms my soul because I can’t even put into words my love for them, yet God’s
love for all his children reaches far more heights then I can even imagine.

Raising children has been one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever faced (not always a “valley of the shadow of death”, but a valley non-the less). There are days that my head is going to fall off because of how many times I shake my head at the things they do and say. It makes me laugh to think at what our God in heaven must be doing with the words and actions we do.

Each person’s “valley” is going to look and feel different, and sometimes it is hard to recognize we are living in the valley through different moments. We can see more clearly at the top of the hills. The journey through the hills and valleys draws us closer to our living God. Through joy and pain, peace and turmoil, our God remains the same. Tauren Wells’ song states “on the mountains, I will bow my life to the one who set me there. In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there. When I’m standing on the mountain, I didn’t get there on my own. When I’m walking through the valley, I know I am not alone! You’re the God of the hills and valleys”

Psalm 23:1 reminds us that The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. Now that doesn’t mean that we are never going to want anything, but all the necessities He will provide. When I place my focus on His leading, guidance, and wisdom there is no obstacle insurmountable. During troubled times, it’s easy to lose focus, but that’s when He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet water, he restores my soul. (Psalms 23: 2-3a). Restoration comes in those quiet moments with our Father in heaven.

Psalm 23:4 continues with 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. Growing up and being disciplined was never a fun thing. Teaching my children that our rod and staff are there for protection is key. The enemy wants us to feel isolated, but God’s word says there is no reason to fear because He is with us. Guiding and training our every step. Focusing us on His truth by nourishing us spiritually and emotionally in the most loving way possible. It may not always feel like love when we are in the trenches, but when we come out victorious we can reflect on those stumbling blocks, and see Gods rod and staff leading the way to go as he is defeating our enemies.

Heavenly Father thank you for never leaving me, and guiding me through the easy and hard times. May I continue to recognize all that you provide for me, and slow down to appreciate the restoration that you are doing in me. May I never take your love for granted, and always live that love out to those around me.


Jessica Previglian 

July 19 2017