In the presence of my enemies

Even though I walk through the valley 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 enemiesYou anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:4-6)

New life breathes into Psalm 23 as I seek comfort and protection from the flashbacks and nightmares. They are my enemies now, always with their surprise attacks and new weapons and better firepower.

I walk up the steps to the pastor who counsels me, and she shows me this verse. Feasting in the presence of enemies. I don't have to wait for the flashbacks and nightmares to stop before I feast with the King.

And though the road to soul healing is always long, this one verse frees us to be ourselves and to be delighted in the worst of trials. It's God perpetual love and His anthem of freedom, that even while we are in these aging, sinning, perishable bodies, His glory light can shine right on through. That even in the presence of those we are afraid of or intensely dislike, He has prepared a feast, and He is standing at the head of the table inviting us to pull up a chair and enjoy the gifts He's giving freely to each of us.

Heavenly Father, you always amaze me
Let your kingdom come in my world and in my life
Give me the food I need to live through today
And forgive me as I forgive the people that wrong me
Lead me far from temptation
Deliver me from the evil one

I look out the window the birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune or out of place
I walk to the meadow and stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl on her wedding day

So why do I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need

Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong

The kingdom of the heavens is now advancing
Invade my heart, invade this broken town
The kingdom of the Heavens is buried treasure
Would you sell yourself to buy the one you've found?

Two things you told me
That you are strong
And you love me
Yes, you love me

Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong

Our God in Heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Above all names
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us weary sinners
Keep us far away from our vices
And deliver us from these prisons
~ Your Love is Strong, Jon Foreman ~