This week I felt God show me a picture of someone in a dark, dark tunnel. You feel trapped. No way out. No beginning and no end. No escape. Then you see a light in the distance. But it isn’t a light of hope at the end of the tunnel. It’s a light signalling the danger of an oncoming train, hurtling towards you at great speed. You feel rooted to the spot, stuck in the middle of the tunnel, too far in to turn back and yet no way forward because of the threat of collision with the oncoming train. You sense only fear and panic in what seems feel a totally hopeless situation. Just like David in Ps119:107 (MSG), you want to cry “Everything’s falling apart on me, GOD”.
So often in the Psalms David writes of his struggles with feeling trapped by fear and hopelessness. But he refuses to stay stuck in the situation, in that tunnel, and prays “put me together again with your Word.” Ps119:107 MSG
Psalm 119 says Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. (Psalms 119:105 NLT)
Many times Psalm 23 has helped me in dark and hopeless times so I too can say “By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.” (Psalm 119:105 MSG).
I’m taking the liberty of sharing my version of Psalm 23 with my favourite translations of each verse.
1 THE Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack (AMP); I have all that I need (NLT), I lack nothing (NIV).
2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. (NLT)
3 He restores my soul (NKJV); he refreshes my soul (NIV); He renews my strength (NLT); He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him–not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake (AMP); He guides me along right paths, bringing honour to his name (NLT).
4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me (NLT); Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me. (AMP)
5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honour me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. (NLT)
6 Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place. (AMP)
This psalm speaks to me of His provision and abundance, restoration and renewal, guidance and direction, protection and comfort, and promises that His goodness, mercy and unfailing love will pursue me ALL the days of my life (Psalms 23:6 NLT).
Know this: GOD, your God, is God indeed, a God you can depend upon. He keeps his covenant of loyal love with those who love him and observe his commandments for a thousand generations. (Deut 7:9 MSG)
Even though troubles came down on me hard, your commands always gave me delight. The way you tell me to live is always right; help me understand it so I can live to the fullest. (Psalm 119:137-144 MSG)
The picture didn’t end with the disastrous consequences of being trapped in the tunnel. Suddenly there was a door in the wall of the tunnel – a doorway of hope.
His Word provides light and doorways of hope when we feel that everything is falling apart and we are trapped in the middle of emotional, financial, physical or relational struggle and hopelessness.
I pray His words give you delight and He makes a way in the wilderness (Isaiah 43:19), in the tunnel of despair. He reveals a way where there seemed to be no way. As you read this Psalm may you also find HIS door to hope, to safety, to comfort, to protection, to provision … to FREEDOM.