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Don't Be Ridiculous

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

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


Psalm 23

The language of verse four echoed through my head as I walked through the corridors of University of Arkansas Medical Sciences hospital in Little Rock. Just hours ago our triplet boys had been born, 10 weeks early and looking at an extended stay in the NiCU. The day started like about every other Friday in the fall. High school football was winding down and it was playoff time. I remember standing in the locker room at Lonoke High School, talking with our football coach discussing whether or not I was going to ride on the team bus or not. I had reservations because Lauren was in the “window” so to speak. I called Lauren and asked what she thought, to which she replied, “everything is all right” she actually encouraged me to get on the bus and go to the game which happened to be three hours away, and my only ride home would’ve been the team bus. Which wasn’t about to make an exception for me in the event of the boys making an early arrival!

I decided that there was no way that I could manage it. I couldn’t imagine standing on the sidelines of some random high school football field while my three boys and wife each literally fought for their lives. So I passed on the trip, which I sincerely hated to do. I picked Brooklyn up from her babysitter and took her home, put her down for a nap then tried to relax. That's when it happened. That’s when Lauren called with an unmistakable fear in her voice to tell me that the doctors had discovered that one of our boys, Owen was in distress, and they needed to preform an emergency c-section within the hour.

It was go time! I woke Brooklyn up, took her back to the babysitter's house and I gave our blue Town & Country everything it could handle up i40, half hoping a police officer would spot me, just so I could get to the hospital faster. I was terrified, I pulled into the parking lot at UAMS and ran as fast as I could down the twisting halls that I had so casually strolled though in the days and weeks before. Lauren had been admitted to the hospital two weeks earlier because they wanted to monitor her. Having so many babies in one womb was high risk enough, only to make matters more complicated, Andrew and Owen shared one amniotic sack, which meant they were skin on skin, and shared a greater risk for complications.

I got to the room where Lauren had been staying the past 2 weeks to find the nurse who had taken such amazing care of her waiting for me, she walked me to the operating room where they afforded me all the protective gear to wear and I sat there, waiting for the doctor to bring me into the room where Lauren was. She had already been prepped for the surgical procedure.

When I looked into her eyes, I could visualize the same fear in her eyes that I had listened to on the phone just hours earlier. I was scared, she was scared, but God wasn’t scared. And one by one our boys were born with the song “Great are you Lord” playing on my phone. Owen first, followed by Andrew, then Eli, all within two minutes of each other. When the boys were born the doctors rushed them away to stabilize them. We weren’t able to see them for several hours after they were born, until they wheeled each of them in their isolates, one by one through the recovery room where Lauren and I were. They ordered us to give them about 45 minutes to get them settled into their rooms in the neonatal intensive care unit before we went to see them. I remember walking through the now unfamiliar, busy hallways, to the NICU feeling more overwhelmed than I had ever felt in my whole lifetime. Everything was out of my control, but completely my responsibility.

The words echoing through my head, Psalm 23:4,

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.

I was concerned for my family, my wife and best friend, our kids. I was walking though a scary, “dark” valley, but let me tell you, God was walking right beside me, and carrying me through.

Our boys were so little, and so fragile. Owen was the smallest weighing in at 2lbs 14oz and Eli, the biggest was just 3lbs 4oz. They took up two rooms because the biggest room they had available at the hospital was for twins. I got to Eli’s room where his nurse, who would end up being the primary nurse for all three of our boys, and an absolute answer to prayer. Was already taking care of him. I sat down on the sofa in that room and for the first time in weeks slept like a baby!

God had absolutely carried us through one of the toughest days of our lives. November 16th, 2018 is a day that I’ll never forget and Lauren’s version of events that day has its own twists and turns that I didn’t experience.

Scary days are part of life. My experiences and your experiences will be diverse, but our God is the same! Our Bible and the Psalms are full of reports of God’s faithfulness. Psalm 23 is the fruit of God’s faithfulness, when a champion like King David can look at his life, and realize that, “The LORD is my shepherd”

Let’s pause here for just a second and examine what that is articulating. David writes, “The LORD is my Shepherd; I have all that I need”. David himself had once been a shepherd, who tended to the sheep in the pastures. Sheep are vulnerable animals. Without the security of a shepherd, they were easy targets for predators, it was the shepherd who carried the responsibility of defending the sheep.

Lets rewind David’s life just a bit and pick up in 1 Samuel 17, This is the conversation between David, the boy and King Saul just before David defeated Goliath.

“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine, and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”

But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God!

David is such a parallel of Jesus, the coming messiah. Think about it, Jesus himself said in John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.

The lion and the bear represent the enemy, who seeks to destroy you, but Jesus, our shepherd goes after the enemy with a club, and if it turns on Him, he catches it by the jaw and clubs it to death. In fact look at 1 Peter 5:8, Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

Only Jesus, the Good Shepherd, gives His life for the flock.

So the man, David, who literally was the shepherd who tended to his father's sheep, writes in perhaps one of his most famous psalms, “The LORD is my Shepherd”

When you’re in His flock, He protects you, takes care of you and is always there to guide you through the darkest storms in this life.

He wants to be your shepherd,

you’re invited to join his flock.

Look at the heart behind the man writing the passage. David was a human who had seen God move in incredible ways. God used David to defeat the greatest warrior in the known world at that time. He had ascended to the throne of Israel and David led the people of God with strength. He had seen God fight battle after battle. Yet it was the LORD who was his shepherd.

Who provided all that David needed,

Who gave him rest in green meadows,

Who led him beside peaceful streams,

Who renewed his strength,

Who guided him every step of the way,

When he walked through tough situations, it was the LORD who was close beside him,

It was his rod and staff that protected and comforted him,

It was God who provided for David’s every need, even when he was surrounded by evil in this world,

God’s goodness and unfailing love pursued David all the days of his life!

And David, and each one of us will live in the house of the LORD forever!

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