Thursday, August 28, 2014


There are some nights, when I fall into bed, the only prayer I have is "Thank You."

A few months ago, on one of those tired nights after I had said my "Thank You," I thought of the Lord's Prayer. I don't usually pray memorized prayers, but I was really really tired and I trusted that God would know my heart, and that my words would reach His Ears and His Heart.

I let go of the day, with all of its ups and downs. With all of its concerns and fears. With all of the intentions that weren't fulfilled, and all the boxes that weren't checked. I snuggled down into my covers and opened my mouth to quietly speak the words Jesus taught his disciples when they asked him how to pray. I was expecting to hear myself say, "Our Father, who art in heaven."

But that's not what I heard.

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want."

I heard the words from Psalm 23. 

I smiled at myself and I thought about the old aunt in the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation starring Chevy Chase. The scene begins with the extended family sitting around the dining room table watching Chevy Chase slice the turkey for Christmas dinner. He then asks his 80 year old Aunt Bethany to say grace and, when she finally understands that he is asking her to say the blessing, she bows her head and says, "I pledge allegiance to the flag." The family joins in and together they say the Pledge of Allegiance.

If you want a laugh, you can watch it here.

Trust me. I'm not eighty. And I do know the difference between the Lord's Prayer and the Twenty-Third Psalm, and between a blessing and the Pledge of Allegiance.

There have been many nights, since the night I felt like I was channeling Aunt Bethany, that my exhausted and spent self has snuggled deep down into the covers and turned my heart back to The Lord's Prayer. I love how each phrase is so simple, yet filled with such power and majesty.

But every single time, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want" is what I hear.

It has happened so many times that I now know that the Holy Spirit is praying for me. He knows that what I need to hear on those exhausted nights is that I have a Shepherd. A Shepherd that is watching over me and my loved ones. A Shepherd that hears my prayers without me even speaking a word.  A Shepherd that has promised to give me rest and to restore my soul. A Shepherd who holds me under the canopy of a dark and sometimes frightening sky, and a Shepherd that won't let me go when the morning brings the light.

I have a Shepherd who has proven His Love for me by willingly giving up His Life for me and now whispers to my soul, "It is finished. It is finished. You are mine. Rest. Rest."

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. "

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want."

No one could ever write a more peaceful bedtime story.

No one could ever sing a more beautiful lullaby.

"The LORD is My Shepherd; I shall not want."

"I am the Good Shepherd.
I lay down my life for you.
Enter in. Enter in.
Enter in.
I am the Good Shepherd.
As the Father knows me, I know you.
I know you. I know you.
I know you.
And no one can take you away.
And no one can take you away."

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