"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 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." ~ Psalm 23
I know that many are going through trials, tribulation, and troubles of all kinds right now, including many within my own sphere of family and friends, and I know of several who have lost loved ones within the past week. While reading this chapter just now, I couldn't help but be touched by the footnote in my Bible that accompanies Verse 4. It says:
"23:4 - thou art with me. In times of danger, difficulty and even death, I fear no evil. Why? "For thou art with me" in every situation of life (cf. Mat 28:20). The "rod" (a short club) is a weapon of defense or discipline, symbolizing God's strength, power and authority (cf. Ex 21:20; Job 9:34). The "staff" (a long slender stick with a hook on one end) is used to draw a sheep close to the shepherd, guide it in the right way or rescue it from trouble. God's rod and staff reassure us of God's love and guidance in our lives (cf. 71:21; 86:17)."
As each of us travel life's highway, may God's "rod" and "staff" be ever near. Have a blessed evening, one and all! <3