A couple weeks ago I finished out my Junior year of college. It was hard, testing, and restless yet at the same time it was fun-filled, beautiful, and by far the best year yet. After two years of continually searching for a plan and purpose, the Lord has made his plan for my future career abundantly clear. I have been blessed to be surrounded by some of the most joyful, fun, Jesus-loving friends on this side of heaven, and I have more memories of crazy experiences with the people I love than nights I spent anxiously cramming for a test the next day. The Lord has been so faithful these past few months but it has truly been wild.
Last week I took the afternoon off work to take the 20-minute trip up the lake to visit my favorite place in the world to simply stop to rest and reflect on the past year. Tucked away in the gated community I worked last summer, there is an old wooden swing that lies underneath two huge Corinthian columns in the back corner of a sculpture park where I would typically do my devotionals. I am an extremely fast paced person so I have learned through the years that I need to be intentional about pausing to sit in the stillness of God’s presence.
Tourist season doesn’t start for another month in our town so I wasn’t expecting anyone to be around that particular afternoon. Complete solitude, silence, and stillness. But I’ve learned through the years that more often than not when I finally stop talking at God and sit in silence and stillness, He speaks.
As I was sitting on my swing reading through the book of Psalms, I was approached by an older man passing by on his daily walk. His name was Bud. As one does, he asked what I was reading and I explained I was reading through Psalms in my bible. I have never been one to publically bring up conversations about Jesus with random strangers (but I should probably start thinking about doing it more). Bud proceeded to quote Psalm 23 and we talked about it for a good half hour. When he left he said he would keep me in his prayers and continued on with his walk. I don’t know much about Bud. I’ll probably never see him again. But it that moment the Lord’s presence was so clear in my tiny corner of the world.
Psalm 23 was the first passage I ever memorized as a Christian. This passage kick started my faith. Fast forward to now, God used Psalm 23 and an 85 year old man to stop me in my tracks and open my eyes to pay attention to what the Lord is doing in my life. It is so often the case that, God puts people in our lives for 30 seconds just to make sure we’re paying attention. The Lord knew I needed a nudge to open my heart to talk about the gospel with those around me. We are called to be a light to this world. But we will never shine if we are complacent and too comfortable to share the light. What if you could be that little nudge for someone else? Start the Jesus conversation. Be the light. Open up your heart to his presence in your own tiny corner of the world.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.