I’ve been rereading A Praying Life over the last couple of weeks since I last blogged about a portion of it.
Further into the book, after showing what life would be like if we don’t have the Good Shepherd with us, Miller goes on to tie it in to how His presence along the journey makes all the difference.
In the beginning of the psalm, the Shepherd is in front of me – ‘He leads me beside still waters’ (verse 2); at the end He is behind me – ‘goodness and love will pursue me’ (verse 6, NIV); but in the middle, as I go through ‘the valley of the shadow of death,’ He is next to me – ‘I will fear no evil, for You are with me’ (verse 4).
The protective love of the Shepherd gives me the courage to face the…journey.
A Praying Life, p. 185-186
I love Miller’s description of it as His protective love.
Pretty much everything about my life is up in the air. Not as if it hadn’t been already the last half year or so, but it’s at an entirely different level now.
Even when nothing makes sense and I have no idea what His plans for me are, or where things will be in a week, let alone a month or a year, I’m still kept in His protective love.
I hadn’t been struck by that quite as much on any of my earlier readings of the book.
Aside from the importance of the reminder, it made me smile because back in November I made this necklace…
As I had been reading (yes really) through a hymnal, I saw that phrase from an old hymn and turned it into a necklace. While I’ve not worn jewelry much the last six and a half months, when I have, it’s been one of my various hope necklaces or this one.
Now when I wear it, I’ll think of it as a reminder that I’m not just kept in His love, but kept in His protective love.
Despite all the unknowns, I’m kept in His protective love, with my Shepherd in front of me, behind me, and most importantly, alongside of me.