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Read |Psalm 23: 2 - 3; Matthew 11:28|
A Reflection on Psalm 23: 2 - 3
"He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul." (Psalm 23: 2 - 3, NIV).
He calls me away from the running.
He calls me away from the pushing.
He calls me away from spiraling in circles that leave me breathless.
He calls me to rest.
He purposes His word as a mother does her lullaby.
I am brought to settle--settle in His presence.
How exuberant and full of life is He!
All His energy--all the life that could ever be,
Yet, I am not overwhelmed.
His Spirit washes over me.
I am refreshed.
Ah! I am breathing.
Sheep, like other mammals, require food and water for sustenance. Whereas they are able to perceive hunger and thirst, they are completely impotent in securing what is needful to address their needs. In fact, so hapless are sheep that if not led by a shepherd to green pastures for foraging and by streams for watering, they will hunger and thirst unto death! (Shepherd). Therefore, it is the shepherd's responsibility to guide the sheep to the place where they may receive what they need.
Thinking about these sheep, I find myself humbly acknowledging that we are a lot alike. I know when my soul is hungry and thirsty. I perceive it. I even know that God alone can satisfy, and yet I find myself struggling to live in agreement with the truth I know. I find myself caught spiraling in circles--meandering through the world's purported rest stops, only to find no help--wearying myself. And it is in the weariness that God brings to my soul as a sweet refrain, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11: 28, NIV). I manage to respond, "How? Help!" And He does. "He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters." (Psalm 23: 2).
Yet, still more help I need, not unlike actual sheep. The shepherd's work is not complete in simply bringing the sheep to green pastures. He must ensure that the place he has brought them to is free of competitors. You see, the more savvy goats also forage in green pastures. The sheep against them stand little chance of actually satiating their hunger--and so in the midst of plenty they can still starve. The goats bring to mind the cares of the world that would seek to distract from the enjoyment of the feast of rest, peace and joy in His presence. But, there is a secret place. There is a place where the goats cannot follow--and we enter it when with dove's eyes we fix our trust in Him. Beloved, when we do this, we begin to see Him greater than all our possible concerns. We begin to see Him more clearly. And soon we find ourselves enraptured in Him, whose borders are secure. We find ourselves at peace--hungering and thirsting no more. We find our soul's refreshed. (Psalm 23: 3).
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for taking the initiative to bring us into your rest. Help us to make your Presence our home--that even as we labor, we may have the rest, peace and joy You alone provide. In Jesus' name, amen.
Take care! Listen to Psalmist Raine declare the truth of God over your life and encourage you to place your whole trust in Him.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is an educator, Christian education youth coordinator, author, singer, workshop and retreat leader, speaker and. founder and president of EarthBasic. However, she is first and foremost a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. You can connect with Carolyn on facebook, Instagram and here.