January 29, 2022
One of the ironic consequences of the sweeping growth of social media is that we often find ourselves more personally isolated. One online article warns:
‘Those who oppose leading one’s life primarily or exclusively online claim that virtual friends are not adequate substitutes for real-world friends, and . . . individuals who substitute virtual friends for physical friends become even lonelier and more depressive than before.’
Technology aside, all of us battle with seasons of loneliness, wondering if anyone knows, understands, or cares about the burdens we carry or the struggles we face. But followers of Christ have an assurance that brings comfort to our weary hearts.
The comforting presence of the Savior is promised in words that are undeniable, for the psalmist David wrote, ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me’ (Ps. 23:4).
Whether isolated by our own choices, by the cultural trends that surround us, or by the painful losses of life, all who know Christ can rest in the presence of the Shepherd of our hearts. What a friend we have in Jesus!
As a young boy, David, the author of Psalm 23, was a shepherd. He was responsible for his family’s sheep, which were a significant part of the family’s livelihood.
In order to make sure the sheep were well fed and watered, shepherds in ancient Israel would often have to take their flocks deep into the wilderness for long periods of time. It is possible that when David penned this psalm, he was reflecting on God’s presence in the wilderness as he was alone with his sheep.
Thinking of the constant and watchful care he provided for each and every sheep, he found comfort in the presence and care of God even when his only companions were animals.
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