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Have you ever had one of those days where everything goes wrong? What about one of those weeks, where every day is one big blur, and nothing seems to work out? You may look back over the last 12 months and just see disaster after disaster happening and all is totally out of your control? I think most of us can relate to one or two of these at least. How many people do you know who suffer from a restlessness that makes them so disconnected that they fall into depression, or just give up on life? Perhaps the death of a loved one has stripped the person of purpose and meaning, the grief being so overwhelming that they feel that they will never get over it? I know loads of people in this place, and I have helped them and in fact, I’ve been there a few times myself – and I am sure you have too- not a nice place to be! Or possibly you are unwell and facing your own impending death, and you don’t know what to think or which way to turn.
So, what can we do when things like this happen? How can we find joy and a realistic coping strategy to get us through rather than allowing it to defeat or destroy us? Contentment is a precious thing, but how can we find it in our darkest valley? Lots of people ask these questions and spend a lot of time and money looking for answers.
If you have loved much you will grieve much. Grieving is not bad, but for it to hang on for years is certainly not good either. As pointed out in my book, Nothing Good about Grief, bereavement can leave us with the feeling of utter emptiness. As human beings, we have a need to grieve because it is healthy to do so. We must understand that there will be a silver lining somewhere. Grief can be turned around self-discovery in the long run, even when we can’t imagine it at first. But this only happens if we are willing to learn, change, and learn the right attitude allowing bereavement to be turned around for our benefit. However, it is also true that there is a possibility that we can become trapped in our grief, not knowing how to let go of it.
This is book is designed to help you find solutions to work through the difficult times in your life. Psalm 23 Unwrapped shows God’s nature as Father in the image of the Good Shepherd. In the same way, as a good Father does, the Shepherd leads, provides, protects, and guides. Whatever your circumstances, this book offers ideas that will assist you to discover coping strategies while maintaining equilibrium. If you rely on the right conditions to make you happy, you will always be tossed about and will never experience inner calm and joy- even in the face of death. Psalm 23 Unwrapped, can be used as an enhancement to my book Nothing Good about Grief. The book you hold in your hands will help you to let go of the pain of your problems, resentment, grief, and the fear of death. Using Psalm 23 as a template – which is also known as the Psalm of David – this book guides you in your journey through your troubled times, to find meaning, purpose, and peace.
The experience of loss, mainly if it is sudden, can bring about the reaction of immense psychological shock. This traumatizes us psychologically. Some people think the effects of grief are purely psychological things and have nothing to do with our physicality. However, recent research shows that our psychological health has a direct bearing on our physical health. This is why I approach my work holistically. It is my aim to minister to the whole person, body, mind, and soul. Our spiritual life cannot be separated from our everyday existence and adjusting to a daily rhythm to fulfill your basic human needs is the first step to getting a handle on the feeling of fear, panic, and uncertainty. It is a step to curing the virus of anxiety and panic. It helps us to see life, health, death, and spirituality differently, even amid your difficulties. When we have re-connected to the sense of the present while trusting in God, we will find peace – the peace we lost in all that stress – is closer to us, deeper within us, than we had ever imagined.
Psalm 23 Unwrapped, offers strategies to cope with your journey through the dark valley. I have chosen the study of Psalm 23 because it shows the Lord as our Good Shepherd, our protector, our daily provider, our peace and rest, and our guide through every circumstance in life or death. God’s faithfulness leads us through dark valleys while watching over us with his rod and staff. All of that is amazing enough to prompt us to praise him, but we may wonder what happens after we pass through the valley? What does the Lord do then? How do you maintain your joy and happiness?
Studying God as Shepherd helps us with these and other questions. For instance, Jehovah-Raah, which means The Lord, my Shepherd. A shepherd is a role description, not a name of a person. Jehovah is not a name either. Translated as The Existing One or Lord. So again, it describes who God is. Also, it suggests becoming or specifically becoming known. This implies that God always discloses who he is. God reveals himself in the metaphor, or even in the image of a shepherd. A shepherd is the one who feeds or leads his flock to pasture (Ezekiel 34:11-15). An extended translation is a friend or companion. This indicates the intimacy that God desires between himself and his people.
Untangling the nature of God reveals to us that God is our friend, guide, companion, and the ever-existing One. The One who loves and cares for his sheep. The Shepherd guides us on our journey. The loving One who just doesn’t point us the way but walks with us through the darkness.
We can view our life’s experience as a spiritual journey beginning and ending in mystery, full of inexplicable pain and joy, yet full of wonder. In the end, it is faith, hope, and love that frees us from any kind of fear. However, we are exposed to our real predicament: not having a spiritual path in times like this. We may lack even a trace of meaning, not seeing the bright spark of life hidden in the darkness of our anguish or in our demise. All these are symptoms of another virus rampant in our materialism and delusion. I hope that this book shows the way out of that delusion. Faith in Christ Jesus is good news because it is the remedy that overcomes the hopelessness of grief and the fear of death and dying, and what is beyond.
In this book, we Unwrap Psalm 23 verse by verse to guide us in this journey. I invite you to travel with me – the adventure awaits……….
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