Read these soothing words in the Living Bible translation.  And try not to rush it.

Psalm 23

“Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!

He lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads me beside the quiet streams.  He gives me new strength.  He helps me do what honors him the most.

Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.

You provide delicious food for me in the presence of my enemies.  You have welcomed me as your guest;  blessings overflow!

Your goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me all of my life, and afterwards I will live with you forever in your home.”


Our tendency would be to skim, to race, to fly through those words.  I think, rather, God would have us contemplate, soak it in, allow quietness.

I noticed something about this passage.  God is the “doer”.  He is the one reaching out to us and providing peace and rest.  Look at   some of the wording here.

The Lord IS my Shepherd.

He LETS me rest in the meadow of grass.

He LEADS me beside the quiet streams

He GIVES me new strength

He HELPS me do what honors Him most

He is CLOSE beside me

He GUARDS and GUIDES all along the way

He PROVIDES in the midst of my enemies

He WELCOMES me as His guest

And these things come from HIM:  Blessings overflowing, goodness, unfailing kindness, and I get to live in His house forever!


More than we could have ever dreamed to ask for from a huge God, King of the Universe.

Do you know you are being pursued by a loving God?  Slow down your pace of life a bit and let Him catch you.  It’s what your spirit has been longing for all along.

– Susie Stewart


Photo:  Susie Stewart


Jesus, You amaze me.

I’ve been pondering something.  It’s hard for my brain to even begin to comprehend how, when you were here on earth, you knew the future, and yet you were present with people.

You were God and man at the same time, knowing all, and yet living in the now.

How did you sort through the thoughts and emotions of Your present circumstances when You knew the future?

When you looked in a person’s eyes and You knew how and when and where they would die, how did your heart take that?

Did that make it hard for You?  Does it make it hard for you?

You’re perspective is perfect.  And yet, Scripture shows us that when you heard about John the Baptist’s beheading you “withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place…” (Matthew 14:13)

When you arrived at Lazarus’ tomb, you wept.  (John 11)

I know your heart is gentle and kind, so it is no wonder that You hurt too.

“…for I am gentle and humble of heart…”  (Matthew 11:29)

I can’t help but think that Your heart breaks for those who mourn.  You see what death does to those who are still here and missing loved ones.

I imagine you looking at Your friends Mary and Martha, so fresh with grief over their brother’s death.  You knew Lazarus was going to die.  You knew You would raise him back to life.  I think maybe You wept at the sight of the mourners of Lazarus.  I think your heart was heavy for those who wept over John the Baptist’s death.

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.”  (John 11:33)

You were troubled, Lord.

You were present, even though You are omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient…

You are present with us.  You Spirit is grieved when we grieve.  You are troubled to see us weeping.  You know the beauty that will come from the ashes, and yet, right now, You are present.

Thank you, Jesus.  You came to “comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve…”  (Isaiah 61:10)

– Susie Stewart


~Dedicated to my Uncle Sam & Aunt Lyla Knutson, whom God took to Heaven on September 1, 2013, only 10 hours apart.  Thank you God for that gift of Your timing, and thank you that You know and care how much we will miss them until we see them again.