A Much Loved Lamb

The Lord is my shepherd and there is nothing I shall want.
Psalm 23:1

I shared recently that I will have shoulder surgery in the not too distant future. I admit that I have not taken this news well. I also admit that I am extremely disappointed in myself for responding this way.

You see, I have walked with many loved ones through serious and terminal illnesses. I sat at their sides as they processed the scenario that lay before them. I could not help being deeply moved by their bravery through their transitions from anger to fear to sadness to practical concern for those left behind to joyful anticipation of the things to come. All the while, I offered frequent prayers of thanksgiving for the grace which allowed these amazing souls to suffer through their illnesses and to embrace their journeys home to God.

My shoulder surgery will likely not end with my journey home to heaven. Indeed, my doctor is quite certain that I will tolerate the procedure well and that I will be fit as can be within four months or so. Why then do I wrestle with my own measures of anger and fear and sadness? I feel a great deal of concern for my poor husband who will be my caretaker throughout all of this, and I have not been able to visualize the light of restored health at the end of the tunnel. I haven’t even been able to find the words with which to pray over this.

This morning, before I was able to begin today’s fretting, the image of a happy little lamb came to mind. I couldn’t help smiling as this sweet creature danced through the tall grass in the beautiful pasture that “materialized” in my imagination. In the midst of observing this lamb’s revelry, it came to me. “The Lord is my shepherd and there is nothing I shall want…”

This opening line of Psalm 23 offered the encouragement I need to face this day -and my surgery- with a smile. Since I found such an amazing measure of hope in the psalms first twelve words, I will share the rest of Psalm 23 with you through my next several posts.

Loving God, thank you for reminding me of your shepherding skills today. Many others have much worse circumstances to deal with, yet I complain. Still, you remain with me in my discouragement. Stay with me and all of your needy lambs as we turn our worries into absolute faith that all will be well -as you see it- in the end.

©2013 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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