Years ago when I first learned of Psalm 23 I was quite confused
You see, the Sunday School teacher was saying this is a passage that offers comfort. For me it offered something else to worry about.
I read and memorized the first line “The Lord is Shepherd I shall not want”. In my immature mind I kept thinking this said “I don’t want this shepherd”. I couldn’t figure out why the teacher was talking like this was an encouraging passage. Then the next verse said “he makes me lie down in green pastures”. He MAKES me lie down, like when I was in trouble and got sent to my room.
As I grew and matured in stature and in God, I understood the true message. My needs are met by my Lord. He cares for me. He helps me to rest when I am weary and keep running in circles.
Another thing I learned about the first verse of Psalm 23 is to look at punctuation. There is a comma after “The Lord is my Shepherd” which separates it from the thought following it “I shall not want”.
That’s what Bible Study offers; a chance to grow in the knowledge of the Lord. I asked questions, listened to sermons, talked with other believers. I learned more about this “Shepherd” they spoke of. I had to become familiar with God to understand His Word.
The same goes for reading a knit or crochet pattern. I had to learn what PSSO stood for, and watch for commas and parenthesis in phrases like K2, (K, P, K, P, K)all in next st, pass second, third, fourth and fifth sts on right needle over first st, K2. Or how about Ch 1, turn; work FPsc around first 5 dc, *dc in next dc, (sc in next dc, dc in next dc) twice, work FPsc around next 5 dc; repeat from * across.
Pattern reading , like Bible Study takes time and commitment. You must learn to see not only the words, but the punctuation and the context of each passage. Context is very important. In patterns and in Scripture you need to know what is happening around the verse. My friend, Debi Stack, loves to tell about her favorite ‘out of context ‘ verse; Deuteronomy 14:26 “Use the money to buy anything you want”. This is great verse to take with me when I head to the mall, but not exactly what is being commanded.
Sometimes a passage of Scripture, like a pattern, is understood more clearly if read aloud. At other times it may require speaking to someone with more knowledge. With today’s technology you can search online for errata (pattern corrections); you may also contact the designer in person via email or website contact.
Don’t become discouraged if the Scripture is confusing. Stop, take a deep breath, read it slowly, out loud, and take notes; meditate on His Word. Most importantly, don’t give up; reach out and take the hand the Shepherd you DO want and rest in Him.
Keep your eyes on Jesus , who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there , in the place of honor, right alongside God. – Hebrews 12:2
NOTE: If you’d like to see the full stitch pattern to those referenced above, check out the post dated today called "Stitch Patterns”