Scripture— Psalm 23
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalms 23:2-3)
Years ago, on a retreat, I was instructed to spend three hours praying Psalm 23. My anxious heart panicked. But after getting over the initial shock, I spent three hours rediscovering the power of grace in this precious psalm.
I realized that I had always seen God as a taskmaster, as if his main goal was to make sure I was doing enough for Him. Instead, Psalm 23 declares that the Lord is my Shepherd—and my Shepherd’s desire is to restore, or refresh, my soul!
There are two powerful blessings in this restoring, this refreshing.
First, the Shepherd knows that life beats up my soul. Life is often confusing. I have to make all kinds of decisions. I try to love people, and I mess up. I make plans, and they often fall apart. Every day I deal with situations that leave me feeling anxious, weary, and discouraged. My soul needs constant refreshing, and the Shepherd knows this so well that He walks right alongside me.
Second, the Shepherd knows I need green pastures and still waters. The beauty here is that these pastures and waters can be different for all of us! Your green pastures and quiet and still waters may be different from mine. But the Shepherd knows you better than you know yourself, and He will lead you to the right places for refreshment.
When I surrender to His leading, God takes me to places where weary exhaustion begins to die, and life is refreshed.
Prayer: Shepherd of life, help me see the green pastures and quiet waters You are leading me to, and restore my soul. Amen.