Part of our problem with God in the midst of difficulty is that we continue believing that our lives are all about us. And when we turn inwardly, becoming preoccupied with self, we quickly spiral into fear and anxiety.
But, Psalm 23:3 says, “He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Here, the Lord frees us from our deadly self-centered trajectory though the reminder that God’s work in our lives is for his name’s sake. Your present circumstances exist for the same reason the whole universe exists—for Christ (Col 1:16). This is freeing because no matter what is happening, we can believe and confess that the Lord reigns by himself and for himself, and in that scheme, because he is a good shepherd, we are the beneficiaries. When we cease to be the point of our lives, and turn to the Shepherd for meaning and security instead, it’s like stepping out of winter into the warm spring sun.
The question then is, Is the Lord the one leading you, or are you still wandering around, looking for your own comfort and restoration? Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27) Psalm 23 is a reminder of provision for those who follow Jesus, but there is also an invitation here for you to turn away from trying to go it alone even if you’ve never believed, or if you’ve been faking it your whole life.
And when you turn from leading yourself, to his leading—no matter what is happening in the world—that is where a true life of freedom begins.