The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want Newsletter
While I appreciate the many excellent Bible translations available, there will always be those passages that I love to read in the King James Version. Psalm 23 is at the top of that list.
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still water. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake…”
COVID-19 brought the world as we know it to a screeching halt. Stay at home orders, limited travel and mask wearing became the new norms. Personally, I had more than a dozen ministry trips cancel before the end of March. And suddenly, like most of you, I was working from home, conducting hours of daily meetings via Zoom and learning to function in a new world I never saw coming.
And yet, good things began to emerge, even in the midst of fear, sickness, suffering and death. Family meals, generally impossible because of the kid’s schedule, became a regular part of our family routine. I read more novels between March and June than I had read the five previous years combined. My family became obsessed with always having a puzzle on the dining room table. I took the dog on more long walks than ever before. Family game night became the highlight of the week. My times with the Lord grew longer and deeper. My prayer life dramatically increased.
“He maketh me…”
The gentle shepherd, displaying his great love, made me lie down. The shepherd didn’t ask me, invite me, encourage me or lead me. Because frankly, I wouldn’t have taken the time to lie down. I am too busy. Too many people depend on me. PastorServe can’t run without me doing certain things.
And God laughed at my arrogance and made me stop. He reminded me that he doesn’t need me, instead graciously choosing to use me. The Lord doesn’t need anyone on the PastorServe team traveling, speaking or writing to sustain this ministry. And so, he made me lie down. He made me slow down. He made me reorder my life.
The Lord doesn’t need anyone on the PastorServe team traveling, speaking or writing to sustain this ministry.
The English Standard Version, New International Version, Revised Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible all say “He makes me lie down in green pastures.” But I prefer the King James. He maketh me.
While my heart grieves with the many who have suffered in this pandemic, my soul rejoices that the Lord used this time for good. Romans 8:28 is true! Everything, EVERYTHING can and will be used by the Lord for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory. The key word is ‘ultimate’. We may never gain a full understanding of his purposes in this lifetime. But we know that ultimately, God will use COVID-19 for the good of all who bow the knee to him. Jesus has a plan and the plan is for our good. The great promise from 2 Samuel 22:33-34 reminds me, “God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places.”
For years, people close to me have asked me to slow down. Dear friends and coworkers have encouraged me to rest. And then, out of the blue, with no warning, He maketh me. And I am eternally grateful that He did.
Thank you for being a part of the PastorServe’s vision That No pastor would Walk Alone and our mission to Strengthen the Church by Serving Pastors. Thank you for walking alongside our team as we creatively serve pastors in 2020. Thank you for your faithful partnership, even in the midst of our team finding new and creative ways to care for pastors.
Lying Down at the Feet of Jesus,
Jimmy Dodd, Founder and CEO
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