The last verse of Psalm 23 creates an image of going home to the fold after a day of grazing in the pasture—a day filled with problems and enemies yet surrounded with comfort and peace. Listen to what the lamb says:
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life: and I will dwell
in the house of the Lord for ever.
Did you catch the reference to life? Life is the underlying theme of Psalm 23. Life in luscious pastures and life in dangerous valleys. Life with refreshing water and life surrounded by enemies. Life of restoration and life of anointing. Psalm 23 is a poem about life lived under the guidance and care of the great Shepherd.
But in order for “goodness and mercy” to follow us throughout life, we must follow the Shepherd. And sometimes following is hard—especially when we’re hurting. It’s easy to say, “God, I followed you. I obeyed you. So why did you allow our lives to be shattered? Why did you allow our reputation to be destroyed? Why did you allow people to spread lies? Why did you allow Satan to have a heyday at our expense?” In the midst of your grief, it may be that pain and suffering seem to be following you all the days of your life rather than goodness and mercy.
If that’s where you find yourself right now, if you’re feeling raw from grief, let me tell you what Dr. Dan McGee told me over seven years ago: You are going to survive.
You WILL get through this. Eventually, the pain will subside. Eventually, you will begin to heal. In the meantime, take a look at this directory of resources. Perhaps there’s one in your area. If you are a grieving pastor, check out PIR Ministries as well. And above all, stay close to the Shepherd. Continue to follow Him, even when He takes you down steep mountainsides and through dark valleys. The day will come when you will look over your shoulder and find that goodness and mercy have followed you, even through the most difficult times imaginable.