Today’s Musing is from Marlene McKenna.

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. —Psalm 23:4 ESV

The golden leaves wave to their reddish neighbors as the cool wind runs between them, carrying the smokey scent of oak leaves and burning wood. The lane is blanketed by foliage that has just released its grip on the branches that birthed it. Squirrels skitter up and down the chestnut trees cutting through hulls like they’re digging for treasure. My husband and I discovered this two-and-a-half-mile country road last year. It’s a place where we can walk along together without encountering another person. Before the Covid crisis that would have been a negative. Now, with all that is happening in our world, solitude has become “normal,” and, even though sickness and death are a part of this fallen world, we will fear no evil because God is with us.

As David unfolds His relationship with the Lord in Psalm 23, he reveals his hope. “He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” For His name’s sake, He leads. Like a good father, He leads His children down a path paved with righteousness—not fear, rebellion, jealousy, unforgiveness, bitterness, envy, or self-sufficiency. In verse one, David proclaims that the Lord is his Shepherd, therefore, he shall not want, because a shepherd always takes care of his sheep. David took comfort in this, and so can we.But I must remain behind the Shepherd to follow Him! This valley-time is difficult and has lasted much longer than anyone anticipated. There is no sugarcoating the hardships, the loneliness, the loss, and the financial difficulties that have overwhelmed most everyone. I want to run ahead of God and get to the other side of the valley already! But God is leading for His name’s sake. So, when fear tiptoes into my heart, I remember: God does not give me a spirit of fear. He is with me. He comforts me. He leads me. He loves me. If I follow my own path of selfishness and pride, fueled by fear, instead of humility and grace, fueled by love, then His name’s sake is tarnished, and I cease to follow my Shepherd.

Is God holding out His hand to you today saying, “Walk with Me?” If He is, what does that look like? It looks like being quiet and taking time with Him. For us, it looks like opening our home again without fear, for His name’s sake. It might look like wearing a mask even though it’s uncomfortable. It may look like taking long walks on deserted, country roads and breathing in His majesty.

Like a sheep that fears what’s ahead, I can stray, believing I know the best way. Inevitably, I end up lost. Fortunately, when I do wander, God takes my hand, guides me, and comforts me with His rod and His staff. Oh, how grateful I am for God’s guidance and rebuke! I desire that “goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,” and I will “dwell in the house of the LORD forever!” That’s worth waiting for, even if the road God takes us on is full of disappointment, death, illness, or isolation. If you are frustrated or afraid or overwhelmed, trust God to prepare a table before you—for His name’s sake.

Father, give me a heart of gratitude regardless of where You lead me. Give me godly wisdom to set my cadence in sync with Yours, trusting You with every step. May goodness and mercy follow me as I follow You.

The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, 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 runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
—Psalm 23 NKJV

Marlene is a wife, mom, and empty nester. Her passion is writing, but she also enjoys golf, travel, and walks on the beach. She loves teaching a discipleship class and longs for all her sisters-in-the-Lord to find freedom in Christ.

God is gracious,




Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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