“You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5b
The bumps and bruises of life come in a variety of ways. For instance, hateful words or broken promises can inflict painful wounds. Left untreated, these hurts tend to fester, negatively affecting multiple areas of life. That’s why David’s perspective in Psalm 23 is so valuable. As a shepherd, David paid close attention to each sheep in order to deal with anything that could potentially cause them harm. So it is with the Lord as our Shepherd. In today’s verse David beautifully depicts God’s concern for our well-being.
Imagine a shepherd bringing his sheep back to the fold at night. Picture a circular stone wall with one opening where the sheep went in through a narrowing shoot. Warren Wiersbe describes the scene: “The shepherd would examine the sheep as they entered the fold to be sure none of them was bruised, injured, or sick from eating a poisonous plant. To the hurts, he applied the soothing oil, and for the thirsty, he had his large two-handled cup filled with water.”
Now imagine one of those sheep saying to the shepherd, “I can handle this wound on my own.” Or, “I’m not ready to let go of this hurt.” That would be silly! Why, then, would we ever try to deal with the distresses of life on our own? God’s concern for our well-being is boundless. As we bring every heartache to the Good Shepherd, we learn total reliance on Him. He not only sees our pain, He knows exactly how to care for every wound.
What hurt, disappointment, or failure has left an open wound? Will you bring it to the Lord in prayer? Only He can sooth your sorrow “with the oil of joy” (Psalm 45:7). He desires to “satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes” (Jeremiah 31:25). God’s concern for our well-being means He wants to lovingly deal with anything that causes us harm.