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Psalm 23:2-3 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s Sake.
Let’s do a little dissection of these verses (yes, both the biologist and the Christ follower of me loves that idea!)
Psalm 23:2a. He makes me lie down in green pastures.
When cattle, sheep, goats, or horses are let into a green pasture, their first and natural inclination is to eat. And eat more. And eat more. Until they are full. Then, they’ll stop eating, and lie down.
A green pasture is a beautiful thing to animals and people alike. Lush, thick, shiny, ripe grass ready for the eating. Potential for full bellies for the animals and then full bellies for their babies or for us.
When I am let into a green pasture where I (or at least I think) can make myself look good with achievement or recognition, my first and natural inclination is to work. And work more. And work more. Until I am exhausted or out of ideas. Then, that’s when I will stop working, and (maybe) lie down.
That green pasture is a beautiful thing to me – ground ripe with opportunities ready for the taking for my desires. Potential for full-grown arrogance for me and maybe something left over for the minds and hearts of those for whose attention or accolades I’ve been striving. (Striving while knowing that anything of my own doing will never satisfy that unquenchable yearning for more…sigh…that relentless hunger where more is never enough…Jesus, I’m so very tired of this…)
But Psalm 23 tells me that the Lord could have other plans for me for this place of green pasture. He wants me to lie down, to rest, to wait, to watch, to stop, to embrace this moment of growth in trusting Him. And there in the listening, to learn that only His Presence will ever be enough.
Psalm 23:2b – 3a. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.
Trusting Him with the direction and the details will bring the peace of being beside still waters.
Trusting Him with the opposition and the outcome will lead to the restoring of my soul.
Psalm 23:3b. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.
He is God. He will do what needs doing.
And in His doing, He will satisfy.
As only He can.
For only He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.
These paths of righteousness, still waters, and green pastures are for His glory, not mine.
And when His glory is displayed, lives are changed, including mine. For there I am restored.
His glory is eternal, empowering, and energizing as He restores and revives. Such sharp contrasts to the exhaustion of my striving for my own glory…
Dear Father God,
Thank You for green pastures, still waters, and restor[ing] soul[s]. Thank You for mak[ing] me lie down in Your good plan which You give in Your good love. Thank You that only You can and do satisfy and surround me with Your love. Please help me to seek Your glory and forget mine. Please help me to love You and Your people. Please help me to show others Your love and Your Presence here in the green pastures.
In the strong Name of Jesus,
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written by and copyrighted to Beth Madison, Ph.D., 2022