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A Personal Comfort - a reflection by Reinesha Jarman

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” – Psalms 23:4

“…for thou art with me.”

Me. He is with me. David could have said, “for thou art with us.” However, he said “me.” This is personal. This isn’t to say that everyone else doesn’t matter. This isn’t to say that God neglected everyone. This isn’t to say that he is more important than any of the other sheep. This isn’t to say that he was the only one in the herd. This is the realization that in the midst of all this David needed to be comforted. In the midst of this prayer, David needed to be protected. These are personal fears. These are personal woes. God is a personal God.

In this time, I know that the world needs Him. I need him. His comfort is longed for daily in a very personal way by each of us. We all may be enduring this virus at the same time, but we are not enduring the same struggles. We are teachers, students, nurses, workers, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, jobless, between homes, new, seasoned, etc. Even in the same home, there are many struggles spoken and unspoken.

“…thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

How much time goes into comforting a child? How much time does it take to build the relationship to start the comfort? How much effort? How much longing? How much patience?

In this time, I have realized just how much God has worked to comfort me. Just how much he cares to sit with me, so that I can feel comforted. Had he not, I would be running around trying to seek the comfort that only he can provide.

Unfortunately, trying to “find” this comfort during this stay-at-home order, is difficult. I recently began to learn how to trust – and re-trust – the comfort and embrace that his body (the church/my community) was willing to give. So, learning to stay comforted in the midst of change, loss, grief, confusion is difficult. Oh, the joy that comes when I get to see my brothers and sisters, my friends, my family. Oh, the joy that rushes over the sorrow. Oh, the joy.

At the same time, oh, the sorrow that has come as I hear about the deaths. Oh, the tears that flow when it’s time to figure out what to do next. Oh, the frustration that comes with staying minimally updated with the government. Oh, the pain, the heartache, the loss.

May God continue to comfort us, be ever present to us, sit with us, embrace us. May we feel him both in our “alone time” and our time “with” others. May we grow closer in this distance.


Reinesha Jarman has been a member at Northside for four years (just a little MIA for in the middle). She is currently pursuing her MSW at USC with a specialization in Adult Mental Health and Wellness and Military Populations


  1. What a beautiful and poetic way to interpret Psalm 23. God IS omnipresent and IS with me; and with each and every one of us, comforting us.


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