One of the joys of writing a column is receiving feedback from the community. It’s a blessing. But I’m beginning to notice something. Nearly every time someone encourages me about my writings, he or she speaks three words: “Keep it up.”
I find this interesting. But writing isn’t the only activity for which I’ve been told to “Keep it up.” The coach tells me to “Keep it up.” So do my teachers. And my parents. I mean, I’ve been told to “Keep it up” a hundred times throughout my life. Chances are, you can say the same.
Shadows are dark shapes that appear on a surface when someone or something moves between the surface and a source of light.
You are the surface. Your situation is the obstruction. God is the light. Behold, there’s a shadow.
But you’re made to live in light. Not darkness. You’re made to walk in sunshine. Not shadows.
“But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).
Joshua takes a risk after leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. But choice is risk, and God made you to make choices.
“He restores my soul…” (Psalm 23:3 ESV).
The Hebrew word being used for “restore” is shûb, meaning “turn” or “return.”
Then, there’s “soul.” It’s a translation of the Hebrew word nephesh. The definition? Well, in Psalm 23, it’s defined as “the life of the individual.” But it also relates to a variety of other English words—for example, “mind.” According to my dictionary, a single word in our language doesn’t give it justice.
Your life is so valuable—so deep, amazing, and beautiful—that it’s nearly impossible to define the deepest part of who you are with a single word.
Therefore, let’s go back to the four words quoted from Psalm 23:3. After studying some Hebrew, it means something like this: “God turns, or returns, my life.”