The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows, He leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths bringing honor to His name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me.
Your rod & Your staff protect & comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely Your goodness & unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,
& I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Notice the lines I italicized. I read this Psalm the other day & these lines have stuck with me. When I walk in the darkest valley...You are beside me, Jesus. Your rod & staff protect & comfort me. If you read into taking care of sheep, sheep herders will tell you a rod is used to discipline...to get the sheep back in line where it needs to be. A staff is used for comfort to the sheep...it lets the sheep know its owner is there watching over it. In using this stick as both a rod & staff, it shows the sheep love.
I found it interesting this line came after the section about walking through the darkest valley(s). Even in the valley that's ridiculously dark, the rod has to be used. Hmm. Even when Jesus is the only light I can see in these kind of valleys, I still get out of line & wanna stray off to do things my way! Amazing how "awesome" I think I am sometimes that I try to be God & make things happen. Sheesh! haha Just like walking in a dark room...sooner or later, I'm gonna stub a toe or fall over somethin! haha Sometimes, He has to give me a good whack with the rod so to set me straight again...which I'm cool with even though it hurts. He does it only out of love & knowing where I'm headed when I'm in that mode. :)
What about you? Do you have those "I can do better" moments even in the dark? I know I have...not fun having to be disciplined back to the straight & narrow! But one thing I'm thankful for...the staff. Jesus uses the staff to remind me He loves me...to remind me He's always with me...to keep me close so to stay on track with Him. All of it He does out of love. Thank You Jesus! :)