Beside the quiet waters I often praise You for Shalom. Here it is easy to affirm that I will fear no evil because of Your presence. Your strong presence reminds me that I am well cared for. Your sure word tells me that nothing that happens to me here can remove your promise. Your Spirit living within soothes my mind by washing me with grace and praying for me in His holy language meant only for Your ears. Strength. Power. Victory. Having overcome all that hell could offer, You reign supreme. You are watching over me. Truly Awesome, you are with me.
I know I’m no match for the Enemy. The Wolf … sometimes The Lion who seeks to devour … by what means am I to face him? I’ve experienced over and over his terrorizing power as he discovers my weaknesses exploits them mercilessly. I know he’s not playing. This is for the kill.
Yes, at that moment I am to place my full trust in You. Wherever my weakness / strength lies, it is nothing compared to your incomparable power. You have demonstrated the extent to which you will go to save me… all the way.
But too often I forget to call on You. I cower before him, experiencing temptation, shame, guilt. Something inside of me is being killed off by this attack. Emerging from the fray with critical wounds, I am too embarrassed to run to you. He told me you were frowning at me, unhappy with me, perhaps decided I was not worthy of Your love any longer.
The Enemy terrorizes my heart. He is unsatisfied until I am ruined, defeated, destroyed.
Then I feel your strong and gentle arms lift me. Collapsed and bloody from The Wolfs attack, Your words remind me that once you noticed me missing from the flock, you never stopped looking for me. As you carry me home I feel soothing and healing waves of mercy wash over me. The Enemy lied to me, and I believed him. But You, full of grace and truth, never doubted Your own love for me. It never occurred to You that I was beyond reach. It never entered Your mind that perhaps the Wolf was too strong. You know better. Before long Your confidence and power reaffirm my own faith and I once again find myself beside the quiet waters.
I wish I could believe that this will be my last encounter with The Wolf. But I know that he is an ever present danger. And I know that You are my ever present help in time of need.
So, yes. I will fear no evil for you are with me. And no, I do not seem to be able to escape my fear of evil, even though you are near me.
I believe, Lord, help my unbelief.
Thank you, Strong and Mighty Shepherd, for carrying me to Shalom.