Recently, the Lord prompted me to look at a Psalm which is so well-known that for many of us who have been Christians for a long time, we can be tempted to overlook it. It is a Psalm that is often used at funerals whether sung or spoken. For me, I confess that it had lost some of its ‘freshness’ if that is possible with God’s Living Word, until of late. In fact, just to make sure that God had got my attention, within the space of a few hours He had another person, and a book I was reading share that very same psalm with me. It is of course, Psalm 23.
Since that time, I have carefully, and slowly, read through it using it as a meditation and prayer. I have read each line in turn (or parts of a line), pondered it, thought about how it impacts or reflects on my life and my relationship with God, then moved on to the next line.
The one part I wanted to highlight in this snippet however for us all, is the one which goes;
“He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.”
God is One who cares deeply for His children, you and I. He knows our needs, and He is totally aware that there are many times when we simply run ourselves ragged. In fact, so concerned is He, that there are times when he simply has to ‘make’ us take time out and lie down in green pastures. Why make us? Because He knows that if He doesn’t step in, we won’t initiate that move because ‘we’re so busy, we don’t have time!’ Of course the image can either be taken literally (which I prefer here for myself even if it is just my lawn under a shady tree or similar) or metaphorically, meaning taking any time out to ‘do’ nothing but just ‘be’ in His presence.
For in that place, we find that God has an opportunity to minister into the hearts of those He loves, cherishes and wants to see made whole, healed and renewed. But still more, He not only ministers to our heart, He goes still deeper and ministers into our very soul! He restores our soul. He refurbishes it. Renovates it. Makes it fresh again.
In this particular season, where everyone goes around telling each other just how tired they are and worn out they are, (nearly always true!), the remedy is to follow God’s advice. Lie down in your ‘green pasture’. Have no agenda from your life but have an agenda for God. Just ‘be’, do not ‘do’. Let your mind think on the things of God. Invite Him into your mind, thoughts, feelings and being. Allow Him reign to restore your soul. And don’t do it just once and then forget about it. Make it a routine you follow.
Remember the axiom of this life if we let it get away from us and neglect God’s advice:
‘The faster I go, the behinder I get!’