Below is a copy of an email sent by Candy Lundberg to Pastor Jon, and she has graciously allowed us to use it as today's devotional.
Greetings dear Jon,
Dee told me that you used Psalm 23 recently for your message. I've been thinking about writing to you and let you know how the Lord has used it for about 4 weeks with me. I'm really excited that you chose that and what my experience has been.
It started by being overwhelmed with all that's going on with the virus and my pain for not only us here but the whole world. I kept wanting to pray but just didn't feel I was getting it "right" ...lol... One night, during prayer time the Lord said to go to Psalm 23. I have to tell you, though I've always honored and appreciated 23, Psalm 139 was my go to, so this seemed out of my zone. Here's what happened.
The first week or so, I read the Psalm out loud and slowly absorbed the words I'd only done by rote. Then before each reading, He'd asked me to do so morning and evening, He said, "Pray this for the whole world, our country, Kansas and our beloved McPherson County and all and every person in it. Then He moved my heart and soul as the Holy Spirit surrounded me with the true use, at this time, of these awesome words. Here is what came about.
Father, I pray this Psalm for the whole world, our wonderful country, Kansas and our beloved McPherson.
The Lord is OUR shepherd; WE shall not WANT; (how can we share?)
He makes US to lie down in green pastures; (we are so blessed here, the Kansas country of boundless beauty, our clean city, we can walk about)
He leads US beside still waters (drinking water, available, clean; ponds & lakes, Jesus our water of life!.....be sure others have both by giving and doing)
He restores OUR soul; He leads US in the path of righteousness for HIS name sake (are we showing that we are the Church, not the building we can't go to, to our neighbors, family and even enemies? Politics has taken the virus as a mighty tool)
Yea, though WE walk through the valley of the shadow of death, WE will fear no evil (Oh, the creepy, crawling evil Satan is using the virus. The shadow of death is on all of us always, even more so now, Christians have to be encouraged, non believers see our God and Savior);
WE will fear no evil; for You are with US; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort US. (all the equipment, support in every area of our daily walk food, toilet paper! We have needs met and most wants! He will never leave us or forsake us)
You prepare a table before US in the presence of OUR enemies; You anoint OUR head with oil (You have shown our leaders so many possibilities for medicine to use now, hope for a vaccine. You cover us with the spiritual oil of Your love, You are there top to bottom and in between by the Holy Spirit.)
OUR cup runs over (we can only Praise Him; how can I ask for or be anxious for anything!)
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow US all the days of OUR life; and WE will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (The truth, the promise, the action and the hope of our Jesus, quarantined for eternity!)
I hope this makes some sense :) as I reread it, I realize that after each Holy Word, I've been saying out loud the words I think and feel to be what He's telling us. He has given me a peace and assurance in the turmoil.
I also read the first two verses of Psalm 24 out loud. Reading it in The Living Bible is warm and fuzzy.
Whew, this has been quite a trip, my friend. I would like you to know, and all at the church, my appreciation and admiration for all you are doing! I pray for peace and "rest" for you all!
In His Mighty Love,
- Candy Lundberg