I had an interesting revelation recently about the timbre of my life journey. I realized that because of a heartfelt song I wrote decades ago, I had set the tone for my spiritual journey with the words and message of that song. Part of the lyrics read, “Keep taking me through those fiery trials, Lord. Keep the dross from collecting in my heart. Keep my eyes on the things above, Lord. Keep me, keep me set apart.”
While I definitely don’t want dross (impurities) from collecting in my heart, I need to write a new song/prayer that connects God’s purifying power to something a lot more gentle than “fiery trials.” I have had enough of those to last more than a lifetime.
My prayer now is that God will purify my heart with gentle, nourishing love. I’ve had a lot of that too in my life, but I definitely need to focus on connecting with divine love through quiet meditation and gentleness. Fire purifies, but so does water and it’s much more gentle and soothing. Maybe I needed fiery trials early on in my life, but what I need now is tenderness and comfort. I don’t want to live in stagnation and complacency, but I want to walk with God in a gentle way. Jesus said that his yoke was easy and his burden light, but like many fervent believers, I ignored that message and went along the hard path.
It’s time to embrace my journey with a 23rd Psalm perspective: “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
These words met me in a dream one night when I was enduring a very difficult psychic attack by a woman who claimed to be a Christian. The vicious nature of her attack proved to be darker than any energy I have ever encountered, definitely not at all Christ-like. These words came to me in a dream following the most vicious assault that occurred in a dream. I’m not one to have nightmares, but that night I had a nightmare that made me completely black out in the middle of it. When I returned to consciousness, it was with words of this gentle psalm reverberating through my mind.
At the time, I knew it signaled the end of those horrific psychic attacks both in the daytime and during the night. That has proven to be true. When I reached out in the moment and took God’s hand and let him lead me to a safe place, things began to shift in my life. While I have been through a number of “fiery trials” since then, they have been physical and emotional ones. Gone forever are the psychic attacks. I know this with a surety that comes only from having a divine connection.
Now I will continue to look to the gentle shepherd to lead me on the rest of my journey. I chose the “fiery trials” of my earlier life, but today I choose green pastures and still waters. God has always been waiting to lead me in the paths of righteousness by way of green pastures. It was me who chose the desert and fiery trials. I didn’t realize that until yesterday when the words to my song came back into my mind. I chose that path, but now I choose the route of green pastures and still waters. I choose the gentle life of a sheep with a kind and trustworthy shepherd who will lead me where he wants me to go —“in the paths of righteousness” — and I will be safe and protected and blessed.