Joyce Meyer - The Girls Talk Psalm 23
Ginger Stache: Hi everyone. Welcome to Joyce Meyer's Talk It Out podcast. We are so glad you are here because this is where Joyce teaches the Word of God in her practical, no-nonsense way that we love. And my beautiful friends, and I, talk about the real stuff of living it, and we don't hold anything back. I'm Ginger Stache, with Jai, and Erin Cluley, three friends, who really understand and value, the importance, of having honest, loving women around you. Sometimes we need more help and we call in ms. Joyce and things just get better and better. So, consider yourself one of us, because sometimes, you just have to talk about life with your girlfriends. So, let's Talk It Out together.
Jai Williams: Yay, hello.
Erin Cluley: Beautiful friends.
Ginger Stache: Do you like that?
Erin Cluley: Yes.
Ginger Stache: You know, you are beautiful friends. And if you wanted to, you could bribe me for even better words every, single week.
Erin Cluley: Would it be like, with chocolate?
Ginger Stache: Uh, huh. She knows me so well. You both do, yes.
Erin Cluley: I've, maybe, pulled that a time or two.
Ginger Stache: Like, if you want to suggest words like, "Brilliant" or "Fabulous," and you want to pay me off, I'll slide them in.
Jai Williams: So, if people hear you say that, they'll just know that you,
Erin Cluley: Got paid in chocolate.
Ginger Stache: It's like, "There's a little chocolate on your mouth there".
Erin Cluley: The bigger the cup size, the more adjectives we get.
Ginger Stache: It will be more and more glorious if you go for the larger sizes.
Erin Cluley: Done, done.
Ginger Stache: Well, today, we're doing something that I love so much. We are going to talk about the 23rd Psalm.
Jai Williams: My favorite, yeah.
Ginger Stache: And I think it's so important because we've all heard it many, many times, but it's easy to brush over. And we got this fact, and I think it's great. Six of the top 10 most popular verses on Bible gateway, that's an online Bible, are from Psalm 23.
Erin Cluley: Interesting.
Ginger Stache: Isn't it? Yeah. Six of the top ten: so, this is a very popular passage.
Erin Cluley: It's hard to say that again, really fast.
Ladies: Popular passage.
Erin Cluley: It is. We,we didn't, I did this. I started teaching my kids this, because my dad taught it to me when I was little. I remember, every night, he would come in at bedtime and we'd do like a verse a night. And it took some time. So, I thought, "Well, my kids are probably big enough". So, they've learned it. One: it's adorable to hear little children talk and say the Bible, it's so cute. But they know all of the words, and so, listening to them say it, is so wonderful for my heart, as a mom, to know that one day when they face hard times, they'll know the scripture. They'll,when they are tired and exhausted, they can come back to this scripture.
Ginger Stache: Absolutely.
Erin Cluley: So, even more, so, as adults, we need it in our lives.
Jai Williams: And I love all the Psalms, honestly.
Ginger Stache: I do, too.
Jai Williams: 'cuz out of, almost anybody in the scripture or in the Bible, I believe that I relate the most with David. 'Cuz he's so imperfect, but still, like, it's comforting to know that he was a man after God's own heart. Even through all of his "Oops," and ups and downs, and all that stuff.
Ginger Stache: "Oops, I someone".
Jai Williams: "Oops, I slept with someone's wife. Uh-oh". It's like... I haven't done that, but I'm saying...
Ginger Stache: His heart.
Jai Williams: His heart for God was so pure. But also, the way he wrote the Psalms, like it's just, it makes me feel okay, having high days and low days. Like, he'll go from him being like, "Woe is me. You left me in the pit of despair". Then it's like, "Ah, the Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want". So, like, his ups and downs are just so human, and I appreciate the Psalms.
Ginger Stache: They are and they're often in the same chapter.
Jai Williams: Yes!
Ginger Stache: I mean, it'll go right from "Slay my enemies," to, "I thank you that you're here with me," you know? So, I love that.
Jai Williams: I love it, too.
Ginger Stache: It's just honest, and it's real, and it's what we're all about here. So, want to start this by reading this Psalm to everyone, because I want you to hear it with different ears, today. And I want us to take really one verse at a time, and Joyce is gonna walk us through this, but think about what these verses mean. So, Psalm 23: "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though, I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me. You're rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over. Surely goodness, and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever".
Erin Cluley: That's really good. Also, you should have a book reading. You have a book reading voice, you could be like, an audiobook reader.
Ginger Stache: I did read my book, if anybody wants to check that out. I'll just through that in there.
Erin Cluley: I think I will, it's so soothing. Oh, it's such good scripture.
Ginger Stache: But it is. It's so good. And like I said, verse by verse, distilling it down, it's also powerful. So, we're going to start now, with Joyce at the very top, and dig into Psalm 23.
Joyce Meyer: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want". Sheep and shepherds, analogies in the Bible. Jesus is referred to as the shepherd and we are referred to as his sheep. A child proudly says, "This is my dad". He puts an emphasis on my dad. And I believe when David wrote this Psalm, he would have said it more like, "The Lord is my shepherd". And I want tonight,really my goal in tonight's teaching is for you to come into a place of feeling safe. Everybody wants to feel safe. And especially women want to feel safe. They want to feel taken care of. That's just in our nature to want to feel safe. I want you to know that you're cared for, that God has a plan for your life, that he's not mad at you, that he knew everything that you were going to do wrong before you ever even came into relationship with him. And he already in his providential care provided for all of it. God's got you covered, amen? God's got your back. "The Lord is my shepherd," I believe David said. I don't want us just to think about a God way off in the sky somewhere, but he wants to have a personal, intimate relationship with us. The difference in religion and relationship is what I just said. Religion always looks for God somewhere and tries to get to God through works and effort and some certain kind of behavior. "Are you a Christian"? "Well, I go to church". "Well, that's not what I asked you". That doesn't make you a Christian. I can sit in my garage for a year and that'll never make me a car. Just because you sit in church, that doesn't make you a Christian, amen? A Christian is not even necessarily someone that does good works. Well, I mean, yes, we,as Christians, we should do good works, but that doing good works doesn't prove to anybody that I'm a Christian. The thing that makes us a Christian is that we have received Jesus Christ into our heart to be our Lord, to be our Savior. We believe that he is the Son of God, God himself, who took our sin upon himself, who took our punishment, who died in our place, who rose from the dead, is seated at the right hand of God the Father. And as we receive him, he comes to be intimate and personal, to live inside of us, to help us with everything.
Ginger Stache: So, it all begins with that question: is the Lord, your shepherd? Your shepherd. And I love the way she's breaking that down. This very first verse is so important, that whole question between "Religion," being in church and relationship. A shepherd is right there, all the time, caring for his sheep. And so, it's a really great place that I think we all need to start.
Jai Williams: Yeah, as I read these scriptures, and I think about who Jesus is to me and who God his to me, and like, in my private time with him, I've really been thinking about that, you know, what does it say? "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and I shall be saved". Like, that was one of my, that was the "B". I know we've talked about this long, long time ago, my alphabet scriptures. It was like, "B, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved," you know? You know, but really understanding that, that is my lifeline to connect me to Jesus. Like, if I just believe that, "In the Lord Jesus Christ, I shall be saved". And this,I've really been reflecting on that and like, "You are my Lord".
Jai Williams: You are,because I believe in you, you are my Lord. You are my father. God, you are my shepherd. Like just, that ownership of it, I don't know, it's just been something that I've really been studying and thinking about, and taking it to heart. Especially, when it feels like you've been isolated or alone, just that realization that you're not alone. It's easy to say it, but when you live, have to live it, when no one's in another room, you know, it's like, "Wow, like, you're here, and you're mine". And so, that scripture means something different to me now than it's ever meant before.
Erin Cluley: Yeah, I think that's so interesting. It's like a perspective switch. Even when she was saying that, 'cuz,like, you guys, I've heard this verse so many times. And I've memorized it, I've known it for so long, but when you emphasize that word "My" it's like it changes who he is for you. It's not just like, he's our Lord. He is, but,
Ginger Stache: Corporately, yeah.
Erin Cluley: Right. He is mine, and he is shepherding my life, and he will go after me. He will go get the one. He will leave the ninety-nine to get the one who's gone away because he's mine and he loves me that much. So, it does. It changes the perspective of how you see him.
Ginger Stache: It does, because it's a symbiotic relationship, right? He is my shepherd and I am his as well. And you have to take that next step. It can't just be, he's a big God who loves us all. But I am his and he knows me, and he protects me, and he wraps his arms around me in comfort. I think so much about that protection thing. I don't know about you guys, but that's been a real sticking point for me. That's been kinda hard. And I think part of it is my own stubbornness and independence, and I've actually had to fight against that. "I don't need any protection," you know? "I'm,I'm good". And boy, God has taught me so much in that. First of all, how, just how crazy that sounds, how small and weak I am, and how big and loving he is. And understanding that being strong and independent is only in him and not on my own, anyway. So, that protection, what Joyce said is true. That, I think, especially, all women want to feel that protection. But I've kind of fought against that because I felt like that's weakness, and it isn't. It's strength to know where your protection and your strength really comes from.
Erin Cluley: 'cuz then you get a real confidence.
Ginger Stache: Right.
Erin Cluley: Then you're not walking in your own strength thinking that you can do it. You are walking in God, 'cuz he's shepherding you.
Ginger Stache: What we talked about, in Christ, right?
Erin Cluley: Exactly, exactly. It's a totally different kind of confidence and strength.
Jai Williams: Yeah, I was having this,it's related, but unrelated. I just thought about a conversation I was having with a young lady. I've been mentoring her since she was fifteen, she's now 30, and she has a 7-year-old son. And he was talking to me, he calls me, auntie Jai. You know, "Auntie Jai, how do I hear God"? You know? And I said, "Okay, God's talking to you all the time". And he's like, "But I hear my own voice in my head," you know? And the conversation just kept developing.
Ginger Stache: What a wise 7-year-old.
Jai Williams: For a 7-year-old, he's just so,and he was really,he looked so, he was kinda like, as I was talking to him, he's blinking and like, "Okay, I'm trying to understand because I hear my voice in my head, is that God"? And then, finally, through the development of that conversation, I told him, I was like, "God loves you. And you are his". I was like, "But I think your, because of your knowledge," I'm like, "I think you're at a place where you can make a decision if you want to ask Jesus into your heart". You know, I said, "Because you're his, but you need to make him yours". You know, like so, like the "My" part. And he was like, "Okay, so, ask Jesus"? And I was like, "Yeah". And then, I think, that personal relationship develops. So, I think, it's important for us, as believers and even teaching our children... That there has to be a point where we truly define the relationship with God...
Ginger Stache: That's right.
Jai Williams: To say, "God, no. Like, I know that you love me, but no, I need to make you mine," and say, like, and I've had to do,grant you, like, I don't believe, I believe that once you're covered, you're covered, but I do believe that it's, like, as relationships develop, and grow, and change that you redefine those relationships, like and so,
Ginger Stache: Take steps closer.
Jai Williams: Take steps closer. And so, like, that was just powerful, me with him, you know, the other day. Like, God is,God already said that you're his, he loves you, no matter what. No matter, if you choose him or not, he still loves you. But in order to be a part of the family and to make him yours, you have to open that door and define that relationship. He was like, "Okay, so, ask Jesus into my heart". He didn't say he was ready yet, but I feel that, that's coming. It was a cool conversation.
Erin Cluley: Will auntie Jai come to my home, as well, for my 6-year-old?
Jai Williams: Yes, I surely, will. It was the most complex, like, deep conversation. I was just kinda like blown away. But it was, it was great.
Erin Cluley: It's cool though. 'Cuz we've had this kind of conversations too, with Caden, and he likes to ask those questions before bed. So, trying to explain to him, how you can have this relationship with God in a way that a 6-year-old's gonna understand, has been so good for my 34-year-old brain. Because you're breaking it down. And it,and it's not as complicated as we make it to be. Like, when you explain who the Lord is in your life, it's not that hard, but we make it so big and complicated. "He loves me. He's mine. He wants me to be his, and I choose him. He chooses me".
Ginger Stache: That's why I love the imagery in this Psalm. Because to see him as our shepherd, as always watching over us, always being there for us: there's so much imagery in this. And you can tell how rich this is because we're fifteen minutes or so in and we're on verse one. But I love it. It's such good stuff. But we're gonna go ahead, tackle a few more verses.
Jai Williams: Gotta move on, gotta finish the whole thing.
Ginger Stache: Let's get back to Joyce.
Joyce Meyer: "He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures". That's referring to entering the rest of God. Hebrews 4 teaches us about a supernatural, a sabbath rest. It's not a rest from activity but it's a rest in activity. In other words, I'm working up here, and what I do is a lot of work, but I rest in my work because internally I know that it's not my responsibility to make you like me and make you like what I say. That's God's thing. I've done my part. I've studied, I've prayed, I've shown up, I'm prepared. So, we can enter the rest of God when we know what to do and we know what not to try to do. Amen? And a lot of times, what we do is we don't do what we should do and we try to do what only God can do, and then we just get all messed up in doing that. Entering the rest of God, it's a beautiful place, because when you're in the rest of God, you trust that God's gonna take care of things. You don't know how he's gonna do it, you don't know what he's gonna do, you don't know when he's gonna do it, and you're really not even all that concerned about it because you have this faith that God is faithful and he will not fail you and let you down. So, when you enter the rest of God, whatever that might be, about the changes you need in your life, the changes you wanna see in people, the salvation of your loved ones, your finances, let me tell you something. No matter what kind of a problem you have, God's got an answer. He's got a plan. But when we're all frustrated and upset, we can't receive the guidance of God, so we need to enter the rest of God. And I like this verse too because it says, "He makes me lie down in green pastures". So here's the thing, we can either choose to or he can make us lie down. And you know what I'm talking about. I'm sure some of you, you've been made to lie down. You got in a predicament where you had absolutely no choice but to wait on God. So, "He makes me lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still and the restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my self, my soul)".
Ginger Stache: Those are such good, comforting, and again, the visual of it. I can just see those beautiful green pastures and the stillwater. And you know, I love to hike, and we love to be out in nature. And it's just one of those places that I really connect with God. So, having this visual of what God has created for us, and how he helps us to rest. I am not good at rest. And I am looking at both of you, neither one of you are...
Jai Williams: We were just talking about how tired we are.
Ginger Stache: That's really true. So, we were getting started here and Erin was praying. And first of all, she says, "Lord"... And we both are, like, "Oh, Lord"!
Jai Williams: Amen, corner.
Ginger Stache: And she just said, "You know, we're tired," and sometimes, we're all tired. And he does refresh. I mean, I don't know, I feel refreshed already, from just what we've been doing, talking about the Lord, and praying for that refreshing.
Erin Cluley: It's so true.
Ginger Stache: Yeah.
Erin Cluley: This verse, of this chapter, is one of my favorites. I'm not gonna commit it as my favorite, but it's one of 'em. Because I remember, specifically, when I was, it was so specific, I don't remember when it was. But at a certain point in my time, in my life, I remember trying to figure out kind of what you were just saying, about like, there's these thoughts in my head, "How do I know if that's God"? And in worship like, "How do you keep your mind focused"? And so, God showed me this, like, this,i think it was this image, of this becoming "Our spot". So, I really call it "Our spot," like, I just need to go and go to our spot, of me being, like, I can separate from whatever is going on in my day, in my life, no matter what crazy things happening, and in my mind, sounds kind of crazy, but I'll close my eyes and picture myself in this spot with him. And usually, God and I are sitting under a tree and my head is on his shoulder. And there's something about that act of thinking about that. Whatever is going on in my life, it's me saying, "Okay, like, I give it to you and I'm gonna rest with you. Despite my circumstances, I'm going to our spot and I'm going to just soak in your presence".
Jai Williams: That's so good.
Ginger Stache: I love that.
Erin Cluley: It's so,and I had forgotten about it for a while. After a season, I just forgot about our spot and he reminded me of it recently, and it was so warm to my heart, and to my soul of that restoring, and that refreshing, that, I didn't get to take a nap. I didn't get more sleep at night, but going to that spot with him, made all the difference.
Jai Williams: That's so good. I even said that, you know, a lot of people talk about like 2020 being like such a negative year, a bad year, you know? And I believe, I'm a firm believer that God, in his word, he says that he'll take everything the enemy meant for evil and turn it around for good. I do believe that 2020 was, even for the body of Christ, the kingdom at large, it affected the entire world, was that rest moment. It slowed us all down because,
Ginger Stache: And God making you rest.
Jai Williams: God making us rest, God making,isolating us, and a lot of us were able to cling closer to the Lord, even in,in the case, like, Joyce said in the clip, even in the chaos. You know, we were called, we were made to rest. I think God was just kinda like... Yeah, he like, loves the gatherings, loves the church, loves the body of Christ, loves the four walls of the building, but he was just like, "I want you". Like, that's what I got from 2020. And like, that's what this scripture reminds me of, is like, even in the chaos, he can cause us to take those selah moments to just rest, even in the moments of busyness.
Erin Cluley: What's interesting when you say that is, I had the exact opposite experience in 2020. So, for me, it was all chaos because now I have children and work, and everything is all in my home.
Ginger Stache: And school, yeah.
Erin Cluley: School. It was so much. So, I didn't feel like I got that kind of rest, but at the same time, I had to learn how to do this in spite of it.
Jai Williams: And I think that's really what I'm saying, more than anything. 'Cuz I don't,i don't, even in the chaos 'cuz I don't think any one really felt,initially, felt peace from the quarantine. Everybody was panicking and having,you know, they were pretty stressed. You know, but I'm saying, sTripping away the busyness of our lives. We had to redefine what our lives looked like, what our work looked like, what parenting looked like, what relationships looked like, you know, we had to redefine, and we had to figure out that rest doesn't always mean no more chaos. You know, rest means,for me, it was like, redefining what my relationship with God even looked like, because it looked different. I didn't go to church. I've been to worship pastor for years, so it's like, I didn't have that. Like, I wasn't leading people into worship. I had to worship by myself and figure out what that looked like on my own. I had to dig in the word by myself. Sometimes, I didn't want to read the Bible at the time, I just wanted to sit in his presence and just be like, "This is really not fun". You know, so, redefining that relationship was stressful but restful, I don't know.
Erin Cluley: That makes sense.
Ginger Stache: And I think it's important, like Joyce was saying in this, to talk about frustration. Because we don't have rest probably, until we understand the opposite of it, right? How do you know what something is until you've experienced the other side of it. And we all have so much frustration and so many things going on in our lives. And like, you're saying, so many things that happened over this past year, and to be able to say, "In this frustration, I have a choice. I can live in it, I can soak in it, and dwell in it, and get bitter, and more and more frustrated and anxious". Or I can say, "God, I'm going to rest in you, and I'm going to give you this point of frustration". And like you said, Erin, "Put my head on your shoulder and sit here beneath this tree and soak in your presence, even though I kind of just want to scream, and I don't have time for this rest". But in doing it, it changes our outlook. It changes our attitudes. It changes our hearts.
Erin Cluley: Yeah, it's an up lifter, 'cuz it takes away the weight of whatever you came carrying in. You can give it to him when you sit his presence.
Ginger Stache: So, would you say that's then your favorite scripture in Psalm 23, is what you just shared, because I thought that was so good.
Erin Cluley: It was until yesterday.
Ginger Stache: Oh, what happened yesterday?
Erin Cluley: Well, it's,gets later. I don't know if you want me to jump to verse five yet or not.
Ginger Stache: Go ahead. Tell us,go ahead, tell us your favorite scripture in Psalm 23.
Erin Cluley: Okay, probably two, but yesterday, when I was praying about this, and I was asking God, like, "Show me," great cool verses. "Show me like, practically, how do I apply this scripture to a situation in my life? What does it look like"? So, all of a sudden, you know like when God shows you something, it's kind of like, unraveling a puzzle. Like, you pull a piece of yarn and you're like, "Oh, my gosh, look what's happening". So, he showed me, my marriage. And I shared with you guys, Mike and I have just, we've had a year, and we're making it, but it's,we've been fighting for this. And so, he showed me like, in verse five, it says, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies". So, God was like, "Well, who's your enemy right now"? Well, some days, it's Mike. Mike could probably say the same about me. And so, what I saw in that verse was, he, as my shepherd, has gone before me to prepare a table, like, he got it ready in the presence of my enemy, being Mike, in that situation. Same for Mike, he's prepared this table before Mike in the presence of his enemy, which is me. And I just got this visual of him, like shepherding us together, like his rod and his staff were like, "Come on, you two. I brought you together before. Come sit at this table, I've prepared for you". So he,the visual of him going before whoever my enemy is in that moment, it's not a surprise to him, and he hasn't left me with my enemy by myself. He's prepared that spot for us. So, I shared it with Mike, and it was just a really special moment. But to think that he cares about that stuff. Not just the good: me soaking with him in the sun and the tree, but like, in my fights with my enemy.
Ginger Stache: That is really wonderful because it's not even just coming together and figuring this out and talking through it, it's a feast. It's a beautiful feast, a celebration in the presence of your enemy that God wants, you can look at this different ways too, that God wants to celebrate you, in the face of the people who are tearing you down, or that God wants to bring people together who see themselves as in strife, as enemies, and bring this celebration of reuniting. That's great.
Erin Cluley: And that his, he doesn't, an enemy is not gonna stop him from doing what he has prepared. He's not gonna say, "Oh, that's your enemy. Okay, well, then, I'll halt back". But he's gone before us because he sees so much more than we do. He sees purpose, and he can get good out of those situations. So, I just, I love that. I had never seen it like that before, so.
Ginger Stache: Well, let's go ahead and jump and see what Joyce is going to say about the next one's. Take a listen, we'll be back.
Joyce Meyer: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me. Your rod protects me, your staff guides me. They comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over. Surely only goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever". Now, "You lead me in the paths of righteousness. Yea, though I go through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil". Now, here's the message that I want to get across to you, and I'm going to tell you upfront what it is, and then I'm going to spend the rest of the time re-reminding you and convincing you that what I'm saying is scriptural. Even though you're doing the right thing, and you're on the right path, and you're growing in God, you're pressing on in righteousness, your path is becoming brighter and brighter every day, that does not necessarily mean that you won't pass through what the Bible calls "The shadow of the valley of death," which basically just means hard times. So, we got rid of,-got to get rid of any kind of thinking, "Well, you know, I'm doing all this stuff, and I'm trying to do what's right, and the right thing's not happening to me, and I'm just tired of this, so I'm just going to quit and give up". We need to leave the timing of our results in God's hands. Our job is not results, our job is obedience. We do what we do not even to just get a result, but because that's what we believe God wants us to do. And we know that if we do what is right, we will have peace. And listen to me, there is no way that we can ever fail and not be delivered if we're doing what's right. Amen.
Ginger Stache: Instantly makes me think of so many things that you have shared in this podcast: "I was doing what God asked me to do. I followed all the rules, it should not have turned out this way". But we all go through that hard stuff.
Jai Williams: And it's a hard reality check, you know. It's a,when you actually, face it. Because along the way, of my life, with making all of the "Right decisions," you know, I would have little tests and trials here and there, you know. And I did. You know, like, I've talked about how mine and my dad's relationship was turbulent. And then, other things, in my life, that'll come up, was like, "Oh, I've had trials". But I certainly, didn't think that things like that have happened to me, recently, would be happening. Because, you know, when you're a virgin till you get married, like, that means your marriage is gonna be blessed, right? That means that nothing's gonna happen in it. Who would have thought that almost 20 years later that I'd end up divorced. It's like, "Wait, what? Like, but you did," but when I was studying this and thinking about how when they go,when sheep go through the valley of the shadow of death, it's very, very scary. It's like, there are some serious narrow paths where they can fall off things, you know, like, it's just really dangerous. But to know that you're going to have tough times. You're gonna have those moments where you feel like you're gonna fall off a cliff or that you're in a really dark, dark season where you don't see the light, you know, it's just encouraging to know that: God is my shepherd. He's going before me, and he's with me through that. I don't have to fear. Like, I love it that he says, "I will fear no evil," because I've been scared, you know? Because you don't know how this is going to turn out. My big thing that I was fearful of is, when will I not feel this pain anymore? You know, like, people always say, "Time will heal. Time will heal". Well, I found all this out in 2019, and it's 2021, and I'm still hurt. I still have triggers, I still, you know, cry about certain things. I still feel lonely at times, you know, so when am i, like, so, time, so that's still scary.
Ginger Stache: That's not very long though. I mean, just...
Jai Williams: It feels like...
Ginger Stache: I'm sure it feels like an eternity.
Jai Williams: But I've talked to some people that have still feeling it, like even after like five...
Ginger Stache: Oh, yeah. And that's why I'm saying it. I just,i want people to allow them self the privilege of hurting sometimes.
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: Because we do. We want it to be over, and we feel like it's been nearly two years it should be done.
Jai Williams: I wanna fast forward...
Erin Cluley: Is that your remote?
Jai Williams: It's my fast forward button.
Ginger Stache: Sometimes we have guilt because we still feel that hurt.
Jai Williams: Yeah, like, and I shared in the last, like, one of the last episodes it was just like, I had a lapse, you know, like, when I was in one of those valleys of the shadow of death. You know, like, those happen often for me now, like, I feel like I'm in a dark, like somebody turn, "Who turned out that light"? That's what I feel like. You know, I was having a good moment, and then it's like, shut down. You know, like, something triggers me, and there's a valley of the shadow of death, and I have to keep reminding myself, "I will fear no evil". Because I get scared instantly. Like, it's a knee-jerk response to be like, startled by darkness, to be startled by something that catches you off guard. And especially, if you feel like you've been healed from it already, you know. So, it's a comforting scripture to know that even David back, way, way back then felt what that felt like, you know. And to still have hope.
Ginger Stache: And that we all will get there, at one time or another, that we'll all go through that valley. You guys have seen "Lord of the rings" trilogy, I'm sure. So,
Erin Cluley: Um...
Ginger Stache: Oh my goodness Erin, and you have got to come over and watch.
Erin Cluley: It's so long.
Ginger Stache: I'm always saying something about a movie and Erin's like, "I don't think I've seen it".
Jai Williams: You're movie selection, I don't be liking 'em. 'Cuz you like star wars.
Ginger Stache: Well, I like everything.
Erin Cluley: We'll have to be there for a full weekend 'cuz they're so long. But go ahead.
Ginger Stache: Well, I'm gonna guess that most people...
Erin Cluley: Everybody else has seen 'em.
Ginger Stache: Have seen "Lord of the rings". But there's this scene where they're walking through this like dark, scary, bog area, and that's kind of how I think about this valley of the shadow of death. And they're even seeing faces beneath them, you know, it's like they're walking through a terrible valley of death. And it makes me think about the fact that there are steps that,there's a path through it. There are places to step. So, when you're looking, it's very scary side to side, but there are ways that God pulls us through this valley that only he knows. He knows where to put our feet along the way, and he knows how to nudge us and guide us where we need to go to get through this valley. And eventually, they make it through. Eventually, we all make it through. I think that's so important, is that it is so scary, and it's so ugly, and it's so vile when you're in the middle of it. And sometimes, it feels not even just like a valley, it feels like quicksand, like it's pulling you down.
Jai Williams: Taking your breath away. Taking your,
Ginger Stache: Yeah, exactly. And that shepherd, he can reach out that rod. And you can grab onto that and get pulled out of that, and then he helps bring us through. So, I don't know, I think all of us need something to hold onto because we're all in those dark times at different places. And so, I'm so grateful that God is that for us.
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Erin Cluley: That's so good. I just love that picture of, 'cuz it does sometimes feel like it's all-consuming. You can see no light ahead of you. So, to think that there's that, like you can grab onto that staff, he's gonna pull you out. It doesn't mean you get to go around on the outside of it, you still have to walk through, but he's going to guide your path.
Jai Williams: I love how balanced gospel is, you know, like,the gos, a lot of churches don't like to talk about that. We always want to give happy, Jesus, happy, you know? Which is,it's great. But when you are faced with tough situations, like a family member having cancer, or stuff, you know, or a child being sick, or losing a job, or you know, different things, divorce, whatever that thing may be, you need something to say, like, "Okay, I am not alone in this. God knew that these dark moments would happen but he's going to be with me through it". 'Cuz it's not easy. When you're in it, it's not easy to remember that. 'Cuz you really do feel alone. I remember being in my house when I was by myself and I'm like, "I don't see you, God". You know, "I don't see you". Like, honestly, "I don't even feel you".
Ginger Stache: Exactly. Yeah.
Jai Williams: I don't see, I don't feel, like, but you have to keep quoting that scripture over, and over, and over, even when you don't feel or see, you know, he's working and he's there. So, I just want to encourage somebody about that.
Ginger Stache: This is a great one for that. If you're going to memorize something and be quoting it, to help you get through these hard times, this is a great one for that. So,
Erin Cluley: I love,I'm sorry. I have to tell her one thing.
Ginger Stache: No, no, please, go.
Erin Cluley: You've gone two years. So, while it's been dark and the quicksand and all that, and it feels like you're, its never-ending. Like, look how far you've come. 'Cuz I've watched you grab that rod. And he's pulled you through this far. Like, I'm so proud of how you've made it the past two years.
Jai Williams: Well, I thank you. Thank you, 'cuz I feel it. I mean, I know, and I'm able to even look back and say, "Hmm...A year ago, if I would have had this trigger, I would have done this".
Erin Cluley: Exactly.
Jai Williams: You know, like, so I'm not, even though I still feel something, it's not what it was. And so, I celebrate those,
Ginger Stache: Progress.
Jai Williams: Yeah, that progress of moving forward. So, it's good. We'll get to one of my favorite,my favorite one in a minute.
Ginger Stache: No, I wanna ask you now, what's your favorite? Because it will probably lead us right into the next place, but what is your favorite scripture in the 23rd Psalm?
Jai Williams: It is. "Thy rod," it is,it's, "Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me". Isn't that,isn't that weird?
Ginger Stache: It's perfect.
Jai Williams: The only reason why I like that one is because I was so afraid of discipline. And back in the day, I used to think, because of my relationship with my father, like, I was nervous to be disciplined. And I always,that initially, equated to mean God. Like, rod and staff, I think of discipline. Like, "Ka-ka-kah, get back into order. Like, be perfect," you know. And studying this, I realized that the rod and the staff comforting is also, it's his loving hand guiding us. It's total opposite of what I felt. It's his loving hand, guiding me. But then, I also studied, with the shepherd's, they used to put carvings on their rod of like, it's almost like their journal, you know? Like, so, possibly with David, he might of had like a bear or a lion that he carved on there. Like, it was like, their little journal of things like victories they've had with their rod and their staff. And so, I just thought that was cool of like, that testimony of like, what God's brought you through.
Ginger Stache: That's so great.
Jai Williams: Yeah, you know, to see it on your, like it comforts me because I see it. I see it on that rod and that staff. So, I just thought that was, I love, now, what was the most like, I was like, "How in the world is a rod and staff gonna comfort me"? You know. Like, that sounds like discipline. But now, it's totally taking a pivot: a turn for me.
Erin Cluley: Has that always been your favorite?
Jai Williams: No! I hated it.
Erin Cluley: Just recently?
Jai Williams: Yeah!
Erin Cluley: I mean, like, in the past couple of years has it become your favorite?
Jai Williams: Just,no, like, in the past couple months. Like, 'cuz, like, 23rd Psalm has been my root, like one of my go-tos, in the scripture, during this really, really tough time. You know, it felt cliché but I'm like, I mean, it's the word, so.
Ginger Stache: Hey, it works. Cliché is cliché because it works.
Jai Williams: So that's been my go-to. But then, I really started, I heard a sermon about it. And I started researching it more, and I'm like, [gasp]. It was a good. It was a good pivot for me to see that rod and staff is not mean God, or he's always gonna get me if I'm not perfect. If I fall off track, or if I slip, or if I wander off, or if I get distracted, he's gonna ka-ka-kah. No, it's his, "Come on over". And then, it's also, like, a reminder of what we've come through, so.
Ginger Stache: Yeah, well, let's get back to Joyce, and wrap this scripture up. There's still so much to talk about in this. So, one more time back to Joyce.
Joyce Meyer: "Surely, only goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever". Listen to me this morning. We not only may fail, we will fail. But God's mercy is always waiting to restore us. Will you receive mercy today for your failures? Receive the mercy of God, right now, in Jesus name, whether you're in this building or you're watching by tv. If you're disappointed with yourself, if you're mad at yourself, let me tell you something, if you've gone to God and you've asked him to forgive you, then God not only forgives your sins, he forgets them and removes them as far as the east is from the west and he remembers them no more. And God is reaching out to you with mercy right now. He's saying, "Let me anoint your head with oil, let me prepare a table before you even in the presence of your enemies. Let me fill your cup so full that it runs over". And believe that no matter what you've done in life, surely goodness and mercy are following you, and you need to stop running from it, and turn around and run to it. Hallelujah. We may have trouble in our life, but God is waiting to work it out for good.
Ginger Stache: Running toward that mercy of God, it's so spectacular. I mean, it's just, it's kind of overwhelming when you think about all of these different things in this is one small passage of scripture that describes so clearly, and so visually, who God is for us. And Jesus is the embodiment of all this. Jesus is the mercy of God, personified. I mean, that's how all of, all of this work together. So, when you put it together, in a big picture, it really is the entire gospel. And it's our life and our walk with him.
Jai Williams: Yeah, I remember, like this,the last one, this was my favorite. This one has been my favorite for forever, like the last one: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life". But like, I remember, I've talked about this too before, when Taylor was little, we would have her do declarations every day, you know, so, "I'm the head and not the tail, I'm this and that," you know, I would just have her do all of them. But then, every year, even if she changed her order at the top, the last little part of it, before she would get out the car, or we'd go out the house or the door, she'd say, "Goodness, mercy, you got my back? Let's go". And she'd put her back on.
Erin Cluley: Oh, that's so cute.
Jai Williams: Yeah, it was like, "Goodness and mercy, got my back? Let's go". Like, all the way up until she was probably in about 8th grade.
Ginger Stache: We need to design backpacks like that with the little straps that say "Goodness" and "Mercy".
Jai Williams: And then she'd put her backpack on, she'd like, "Let's go". Like, that was her thing. So, I like, we would like almost act like he was, goodness was over there and mercy's over there. "Goodness, mercy, got me? Let's go".
Ginger Stache: That's so fun.
Jai Williams: Because,they've got our back. Goodness and mercy, they follow me. They chase me down.
Ginger Stache: They pursue us.
Jai Williams: They pursue me, so. It's fun.
Ginger Stache: My favorite verse in Psalm 23 is nobody else's favorite verse 'cuz it's just a little weird, but I love it. I love it.
Erin Cluley: I can guess which one it is.
Jai Williams: I think mine is weird too though, the rod and staff, like that's weird.
Ginger Stache: It's all in the way we look at things. But mine is where it says, "You anoint my head with oil". And of course, following it with, "My cup runs over". Those, I think, are so beautiful. And there are so many reasons, but when I think about anointing my head with oil, the anointing represents God's mercy and his love flowing over, as it's like a sign of hospitality. When you would go into someone's home, they would anoint your head with oil, as a blessing over you. And God has that blessing for me and that he anoints my head, because he loves me so much. And I love that. It's that oil of gladness, that oil of healing. It's what God can bring in our lives. That restoration, all those things that we need so much, that our cup runs over. There's never a shortage of those things. And with shepherds and sheep, shepherds would anoint the sheep's head with oil to keep them cool, and to keep the bugs away, and to keep them comfortable, and safe. And so, I love that. First of all, I hate being hot and I don't like a lot of bugs on me, so...
Erin Cluley: That's so perfect for you.
Ginger Stache: I love the thought of that. You know, that God loves me enough to know my specific needs, and that he anoints my head with oil to show me his love and his hospitality, that I'm welcome in his home, that I'm welcome in his life. And that's why I love the thoughts of those verses.
Erin Cluley: That's so good.
Jai Williams: Yeah, I think it's really fun because when I think of that scripture, of course, I think of, you know, being blessed with oil when you're little. You know, getting your head, you know, but I also,so, one thing people don't know, like, i, black people get, we get our scalps oiled, you know. It's like an endearment thing for us. Like, even this morning, I have a dropper, when I have these long braids, I have a dropper with oil in it that I go through to oil my scalp. Because, little, fun fact, a lot of black people hair, we need oil in our head. Like, we don't wash our hair as often, a lot of us don't wash our hair is often because we need oil, when you, probably, produce oil. Am I right, or no?
Erin Cluley: Yes, you are correct.
Ginger Stache: I have dry hair, I need oil. But yes, I totally understand.
Jai Williams: So, here's a visual though. When you're a little black girl, like a term,like a little endearing moment like 'cuz your mom would sit you in between her legs, while you sit on the floor, and she'd part your hair, and she'd usually use oil. Like, it's the most comforting thing, a memory, it hurts 'cuz my mom was kind of heavy-handed, but, like, "Ow, ow, ow"! But it's just like,it's just a loving, I don't know, it's nostalgic to think about, you know, someone, of course, laying on hands and anointing, in the way that you're speaking of, but just that visual of being a little girl, sitting in between my mom's legs as she's parts,
Ginger Stache: That's that hospitality.
Erin Cluley: Taking care of you.
Jai Williams: Yeah, taking care of me.
Ginger Stache: And there is nothing better than a head massage after you've gotten your hair done.
Jai Williams: Come on, yes.
Ginger Stache: Oh yeah.
Jai Williams: Good stuff.
Erin Cluley: My eyes just closed.
Ginger Stache: And you try not to let your eyes roll in the back of your head, so they don't know.
Erin Cluley: Sorry, am I drooling?
Ginger Stache: And God has all those wonderful things for us, too. So, this has been really fun.
Erin Cluley: So good.
Ginger Stache: So good to dig into God's word and I think it's a great reminder not to just brush over those things that we've heard over, and over, and over. And that God will reveal things to us, when we take the time to rest in him, and to listen to what he's saying to us through his word. So, thank you both.
Jai Williams: Oh, thank you.
Ginger Stache: This is been good.
Jai Williams: I feel like it's really peaceful.
Erin Cluley: I know, me too.
Ginger Stache: Like, that rest came that we were saying, "Oh, Lord, please"!
Erin Cluley: It worked.
Ginger Stache: Well, we just want to remind all of you today, that God is your shepherd. That he has restoration, that he has mercy, and hope for you, and he wants to help you rest in those turbulent times. So, just an encouraging word for you, this is not just stuff we're talking about. This is stuff we've lived and experienced. These are not just words in a book, these are promises for your life. So, thank you so much for joining us. We hope that if you want to dig into this a little bit more and you would like to hear more Joyce's teaching on it, that you'll go to joycemeyer.Org/talkitout because we have a free download for you there, where you can listen to this teaching on Psalm 23. So, you might as well check it out. Do a little bit more time with God. Find out more about it. It's absolutely free. While, you're at joycemeyer.Org/talkitout, sign up for our friend's list, some fun things happening there, and check out all of our past episodes. And please, if you would, it's just good for all of us, we hope that you will tell your friends about the podcast, the more, the merrier. Write some good reviews out there, and we will all be right here, next time, to hang out again.
Jai Williams: Sure will.
Ginger Stache: Alright, bye you guys.