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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Shhh. (02/18/10)

TITLE: The New 23rd Psalm
By June Adams


It’s Monday and another work week begins. The alarm propels me awake and I hustle through my usual routine.
I notice the stack of bills on my desk waiting to be paid - mortgage, utilities, credit cards, medical bills, loans, all demand my attention. The day has just begun, but I suddenly feel tired.

I work hard at being responsible, and somehow I still manage to pay everything I owe each month.
The real price is a low grade level of anxiety, which often flames into full scale terror.
I know God provided my job. For twelve years it has been a stable source of income, with great benefits.
I feel grateful. But recently the company downsized, and my hours reduced. Whenever I think about the bills, I feel the mounting stress.

I am ready to leave, when a familiar Voice interrupts.
“You are working for Me now.”

What a novel thought. I pause to soak it in.
Working for God?
A light switch flips inside my head. The company I work for pays me well, but what if it didn’t? I’ve already lost some hours.
A layoff could be just around the corner.

Psalm 23 floats into my mind. I shake my head. The words are not quite as I remember.

“The Lord is my employer. I shall never want for work.

He insists I relax. Whatever He gives me to do will always be enough to feed me and supply all my needs.

He leads me to places of quietness where I renew my energy and drink deeply from the waters of His supply.

When I am depressed He lifts me up.
In every stressful place, I can go to Him for peace.
No matter what’s going on around me, He guides me to do the right thing so that I will always honor Him and be a witness for Him.

Even though I walk through the valley where my mountain of debt sends me into a tail spin, I will fear no layoffs, downsizing or lack of any kind, because You, Lord, are with me. Nothing can happen to me without You knowing, watching and caring.

When I step out of line, your Word touches my conscience to correct me. I may not like it, but it comforts me and makes me feel secure.

When I think about the future, I know You have already gone ahead to arrange circumstances and people to enter my life to bring me the good you have planned for me. I may face conflict and opposition, but You work everything out for the best. I cannot please everyone, but I can please You.

You teach me how to prioritize my time so that I put You first. I meet with You each day to find out what is on your agenda. You remind me that my life belongs to You. You instruct me to speak the Truth at all times.
My life overflows with the abundance you pour out. Gratitude fills my heart.

Not only do You lead me, You also follow me with your goodness, mercy and love every day of my life.

I will never be afraid of foreclosure or homelessness because You supply my housing.
I will always have a place to live because You have opened your home for me to live with You forever. "

For a few moments, I stand very still. The modern words of the ancient psalm quiet my mind and whisper to my fears. “ Shhh.”

With one last glance at the bills, I rush out the door.

My Boss expects me to be on time.

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This article has been read 326 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/25/10
What a great take on a familiar Psalm. I do believe those words came from God himself. Thank you for sharing the gift he gave you with me.
Catrina Bradley 03/01/10
I'd like to copy and save the "New 23rd Psalm". It would be a great morning prayer. I often use Ps 23 as a prayer "model." I especially related to this essay because I'm employed by the church. God really IS my boss. :) Good job.
Ruth Stromquist03/01/10
A great message with a powerful last line ending. Thanks!
c clemons03/02/10
Very good.
Sarah Elisabeth 03/02/10
I think you did a great job re-working the 23rd Psalm.

I was a little unsure in the second paragraph if your mc was truly frightened by their situation or just uncertain. Of course, I tend to be a "slow" reader at times ;-)

Very fitting message in today's times