Dead. Black. Harmful. Guilty. These are not words that describe a mere principle that worked within me, they described me. Though life coursed through my veins I was spiritually dead, and death was to be the only wage I would merit. Not simply physical death, but eternal death. Flesh was the only word that could described me. As in death my eyes were closed and lifeless, there was no light allowed to enter because I loved the darkness. Blackness permeated everything I was. Though my eyes could see, in rebellion they would not look upon light and life. All my actions, though I boasted of goodness, were done in darkness, and because of this I was harmful; harmful to myself and to those around me, and none of it was accidental or blameless. In all of it I was culpable for I had gone astray.
Broken, Injured. Restless. Fearful. Of no merit in myself and entirely for His name’s sake, He called this wandering sheep. For the first time I heard His voice and it me gave life, and light began to penetrate my soul. And though still somewhat harmful something had changed. Something old had passed away and all things were becoming new. Yet in it all I was still broken. I had injured myself and those around me, and in restlessness and fear I began to wonder if He would fulfil all He promised.
Guided. Nourished. Protected. Loved. From a distance I followed His voice learning that He would only lead me to places that would be for my advantage. In all His leading He began to feed my wounded soul with nourishment that could not be found from any other source. In my ignorance I would wander from time to time but He never failed to fend off the enemies of my soul with His rod, and if necessary He would even use His rod to chasten me. When my foolish legs began to wander He did not hesitate to wound them. Then in my weakness He would gather me up into His arms and keep me close and protect me from myself while I would mend. In those times I began to know Him better, and as He spoke to me using a name that was all my own, I knew I was loved.
Peace. Comfort. Fearless. Endless. My Shepherd’s name is Jesus and He restores my soul. I now lay down in peace wherever He leads me and I shall not be in want. I am comforted by His rod and staff and now long to be at my Shepherd’s side. No longer do I fear evil for He is with me. His goodness and mercy will be with me all the days of my life and my dwelling in the house of the Lord will be endless.