Psalm 23: 4-5
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Contradictions, with a sudden dark
to overtake our cosiness, our rosy
hopes. The unexpected snakes devour
these flimsy ladders that we pick and park
for quick ascents to happiness. Who knows, we
might today be falling, calling out
for God to hear us, hold us, help us, fold us
in those arms that felt the hammer blows
to nails through ankles, wrists – such love to meet
the cost of shepherding the likes of us;
or finding courage in the cold of night,
the daytime heat, the struggles of the street.
You fill my cup with hope again: indeed
I find, with you, I’ve everything I need. © Jock Stein 2018
Walking with God is the greatest thing on earth, but it is not easy. The Psalms express this in many ways, sometimes with lament and complaint, but here with courage and conviction.
Lord, we pray today for:
those who wrestle with unexpected snakes
those whose ladders have broken and pierced their hands
those who endure the cold of night — homeless in body or spirit
those who tire of the struggles of the street.
May they find hope.
May they find help.
May they find you present with them. Amen.