Psalm 23 is one of the most read ( and recited from memory) psalms of the Bible. We hear it often at funerals, in times of tragedy, or in situations where everything seems so out of control, there is nothing left to hang on to except the reassuring knowledge of the great love our God has for us. It is a psalm that is written to bring peace.
That peace is the main theme is seen in the opening verses; God knows and meets our needs; God leads to rich and abundant times of rest; he guides us along safe paths, not treacherous ones; he richly provides. All of these thoughts remind us of who the Lord is and what he is about in his relationship with us. All the things that disturb us, cause us anxiety and fear - unmet needs, lack, insecurity - are avoided when we look to Jesus to lead. None of this means that there won't be scary times, times of doubt, and even times of pain, but those are temporary, and in those times, when we look for him, we will find him, and with him, our peace.
The expectations around the Christmas season can be overwhelming when family and friends are missing, and funds are low, but we can manage when we repeat to ourselves the truth of who the Lord is - the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.
Can we persuade our fickle heart and mind to trust him, and take him at his word? If we do, then our life is richer and more joyful, and our paths filled with promised peace.