A couple of weeks before we moved we had a lesson in church where we were asked to ponder the words to the hymn "The Lord is My Shepherd" and share what different phrases meant to us. I have often pondered the 23rd Psalm, but while this hymn is based on the 23rd Psalm the concepts are phrased differently and I had not really thought about some of the words much. I was struck by the phrase "in the midst of affliction my table is spread." Not after the affliction or instead of the affliction, but in the midst of it. Our afflictions are still there-- they are an essential part of our growth and progress in this life-- but in the midst of them He has spread a table for us.
Thinking about this really touched me as I pondered how a table has been spread for me over these last several months. I have had some afflictions, but in the midst of them I have been so very, very blessed. I have been cared for tenderly. I think about all the people who have loved and served my family during our stay in Utah-- starting with my amazing in-laws-- and I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
And this is how it has been through the move and through every hard time I have ever been through in my life: He has been there, spreading a table before me, leading me beside the still waters, restoring my soul.
I am so very grateful. And from now on this hymn is going to evoke very tender feelings in me when I hear it.
In the midst of affliction my table is spread
With blessings unmeasured my cup runneth o'er
With perfume and oil thou annointest my head
Oh what shall I ask of thy providence more?