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The Good Shepherd

Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!

He lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads beside the quiet streams. He gives me new strength. He helps me do what honors him the most.

Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.

You provide delicious food for me in the presence of my enemies. You have welcomed me as your guest; blessings overflow!

Your goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me all of my life, and afterwards I will live with you forever in your home. Psalm 23 (TLB)

Linawati Santoso lives in East Java, Indonesia. Her doctor recently diagnosed her with a myoma, a noncancerous tumor around her uterus. He gave her a round of medicines and asked her to come back when they ran out. Linawati took her prescription and prayed, asking for prayers from her family in Christ as well.

Linawati was sure she had recovered, but her checkup revealed that the myoma was still there. She was disappointed. But she felt God ask her, "Lina, am I a good God?" Linawati was speechless. After a few minutes she was able to answer, "Yes. You are very good to me."

Linawati thought of David's words in Psalm 23. With God as my shepherd, I lack nothing. God makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside quiet waters.

But there are also moments of life, David acknowledges, where we walk through the darkest valley. And even in those times, we can fear no evil because God is with us and the darkness is not permanent. in today's reading, David does not ask, "Why did you put me here?" when facing the darkness. Rather, David proclaims trust in his Good Shepherd. Linawati too can proclaim trust. God is with her through all her challenges, and God is with each of us through ours.

Prayer: Good Shepherd, thank you for walking with us. Because of you, we do not need to be afraid. Because of you, we can overcome all challenges, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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