Teaching for Troublous Times
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord"
The story is told of a man who had a driven personality, he was a perfectionist, and he had high standards for himself, his family, his employees, and most everyone who crossed his path in life.
His driven personality sometimes made it difficult for others to tolerate this man. He was well respected by others, but he held out a standard that made others uneasy – afraid – feeling as if they might never measure up to this man's standards or ways.
He was taken to the emergency room because he was complaining of chest pains. The pain was so serve that he felt for sure he was going to die. After many days of tests and scans, the doctors could find nothing wrong. His heart was healthy, and they were going to send him home.
The man's pastor had visited him in the hospital and as they reflected on this experience together, the pastor asked the man if this scene might not have been a spiritual message that he needed to make some changes in life. – To slow down, become less demanding, to lower his expectations of self and others.
They used the text of the 23rd Psalm as they processed this experience.
God guiding him to rest in green pastures.
God guiding him to stroll beside still waters.
God guiding him down a path to revive and refresh his soul.
After this man left the hospital he continued this conversation in pastoral counseling, as he tried to allow God to be his Guide rather than simply being driven through his daily life.
This psalm shares the wisdom of an old man who had walked with the Lord and now giving advice to the young.
He had battled with evil men and knew the frustration of seeing the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer. As he reviewed the past, he gave some wise counsel. The truly "strong "man gets his strength from the Lord (23). His failures are not fatal or final (24). There is a definite relation between ou ...
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