Shepherd Me, O God

One of my favorite hymns is Shepherd Me, O God by Marty Haugen.  Mr. Haugen gave the well-known Psalm 23 a beautiful and gentle melody with lyrics that stretches the simple words of the original.
"Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life."
Death into life?  Shouldn't that be the other way around?  Not necessarily.  If you die from your old life and are born again in Christ, it makes sense.  And life in Christ can be an every day experience if you are praying and growing closer to our Lord.
"God is my shepherd, so nothing shall I want, 
I rest in the meadows of faithfulness and love,
I walk by the quiet waters of peace.
Gently you raise me and heal my weary soul,
you lead me by pathways of righteousness and truth,
my spirit shall sing the music of your name."
The imagery here just makes me feel like a rag doll; all limp and relaxed!  Resting in meadows of faithfulness and love, walking by quiet waters of peace, gently being raised to heal my weary soul?  Are you kidding me?  Wow!  But the line that gets me is, "my spirit shall sing the music of your name!"  Enough said!
"Though I should wander the valley of death, 
I fear no evil, for you are at my side, your rod and
your staff, my comfort and my hope."
I don't know why we would need the Lord's rod and staff, but hey, He can bring with Him what He wants to in the valley of death as long as He is at my side!
"You have set me a banquet of love, in the face of hatred,
crowning me with love beyond my pow'r to hold."
Love beyond my power to hold!  My hat's off to you on that one Mr. Haugen!
"Surely your kindness and mercy follow me all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of my God forever-more."
Your kindess and mercy follow me all the days of my life - one can only hope!
So Lord, I pray with all my heart:  Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life.  Amen!

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  • I remember singing that in church a long time ago... a lovely verse that made me feel I could totally turn my will over to God.

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