Overwhelmed. Stressed. Tired. Anxious. Nervous. Helpless.

This is how I woke up feeling this morning about the day that lay ahead. Somehow, the normal responsibilities that I juggle: parenting, wife-ing, leading, working, and managing the home and checkbook, seem heavier than usual.

I woke up before the alarm and rolled over to open up my Bible app on my phone. I have committed to let my first thoughts be on scripture in an effort to let Jesus direct my days, no matter how I may be feeling. The verse of the day was Psalm 23:1. I figured this should be a quick read since it is a verse I’ve known for years – The Lord is my shepherd… oh yes, the verse we use at funerals. I read through the familiar passage and somehow it was exactly what I needed. Check this out:

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Psalm 23:1-3

As I stopped to reflect on these words, the tightness in my chest relented. There was such freedom and life in what the Lord spoke to me today through his word. I realized that in the list of responsibilities I’m stressing over, I have left one major responsibility out: following.

First and foremost, I am a Jesus follower. Since I am following Him, He is my shepherd. I’m His responsibility! What a deep breath that is, and since I’m His responsibility, I can rest because He says I have everything I need. Any inadequacies I feel I have in parenting, being a spouse, a leader or whatever, Jesus says I have everything I need. Any “stuff” I want to buy that my checking account says I can’t, simply is not meant for me right now. Jesus has given me all that I have and so I must have all that I need. He does not make mistakes. He is guiding, He is providing, and best of all: He lets me rest and He renews me so that my life can bring honor to His name.

I guess my take-away today is to remember that above all things, I am a follower of Jesus and he is my good shepherd. He has my best interest at heart. This means that I can relax. Breathe deeply. Trust that He will guide my decisions and provide what I need for today.

Maybe you are feeling under pressure and struggling to have peace in your life. I hope that you are in a place where you have decided to follow Jesus. I want to cheer you on and say go for it! Follow Him with everything you’ve got. Don’t hold anything back, because following Jesus is the absolute best decision that you will ever make.