Countdown to Thanksgiving – Day 23

Let’s face it – 2020 has been a strange year.
But God was not surprised by all the events that have happened.

Would you join me in a four-week countdown to Thanksgiving?
When we stop for a moment, we realize we have much to be thankful for.

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 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.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

(Psalm 23:1-6, English Standard Version)

Yesterday we considered God’s gracious provision as we saw Jesus feed the bodies and souls of four thousand people. Today, we walk with King David as he experiences the Lord’s provision, protection, and presence.

David experiences God’s care and provision for his physical being in the forms of food, water, and rest. David experiences God’s provision for his relational well-being and knows that following God brings God honor and joy as well. Even when David goes through hard and scary times, David experiences God’s protection and comfort, which dispels his fears.

Most of all, David experiences God’s abundant presence throughout his life. David experiences God’s care, even in the presence of his enemies, and empowers him to extend grace and share God’s overflowing abundance with them. And in experiencing God’s presence in this life, David knows he can trust his life to God for this life, and the life to come in eternity.

Here is another paraphrase of Psalm 23 that may encourage you:

 1The Lord is my Shepherd. I will have everything I need. He lets me rest in fields of green grass. He leads me beside the quiet waters. He makes me strong again. He leads me in the way of living right with Himself which brings honor to His name. Yes, even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not be afraid of anything, because You are with me. You have a walking stick with which to guide and one with which to help. These comfort me. You are making a table of food ready for me in front of those who hate me. You have poured oil on my head. I have everything I need. For sure, You will give me goodness and loving-kindness all the days of my life. Then I will live with You in Your house forever.

(Psalm 23:1-6, New Life Version)

Lord, thank You for David’s experience of Your overwhelming provision, protection, and presence in his life. And Lord, thank You for offering the same to me, not because I deserve it (which I don’t), but because You love me… it’s who You are and what You do, so much so that You gave Your one and only Son to pay the penalty for my sins.

Lord, help me not to wander off on my own… to stay with You and not be fooled by the empty promises of a better life away from You, because there is no such thing as a better life away from You.

Lord, thank You for the promise of Your provision, protection, and presence in this life, and in the life to come, spending eternity with You.


Learning to follow Him more closely, and trust Him more implicitly for both today and the future,