Psalm 23: 1-3
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want
He makes me lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside still waters
He restores my soul
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name sake
Can you envision yourself with Jesus walking hand in hand in the pasture, sitting on the bank by the river or bay stretching out on a quilt watching the clouds pass by.. resting.. feeling His presence...hearing His words, I love you , I am taking your load, concern, I got you, let it go.. I come to give you peace and rest.. Come follow me, I will lead you in the paths of righteousness.
This is God's desire for us..Let's break down the scripture:
The Lord is My Shepherd-He is my leader. I need his leadership and so do you. He desires to be our authority, care taker, our guide in our lives.
I shall not want- means not looking at other people or things.. Because God is enough and He is the one I desire to please and be filled with His Spirit daily..not in need..
He causes me to lie down in green pastures- God gives me rest and peace when I am truly following after him.. letting him guide. resting in him alone..
He will lead me by still waters- He speaks truth as I rest in His word.. He waters my thirsty soul with His living words..
Restores my soul- Without His words of love and grace and truth my soul is so thirsty.. But if God is guiding and leading me he restores my wandering soul with His living words. In that wandering we look to others to restore and shepherd. Only our Good Father, Shepherd has that role..
Leads me in the path of righteousness for His names sake-
So as we walk with Jesus daily we will go about His business for His glory.
Isn't this scripture a beautiful picture of walking with our Lord resting, restoring , renewing and receiving in order to go about living righteously for His glory?
I love this picture. It is true as we enter this busy fall season with school schedules, our jobs, college football games, church activities, volunteer ministries and new ventures. We can memorize this scripture and picture ourselves walking with our Shepherd by this beautiful grassland.. So green, rich and full of life....
Lastly, I will end with a story of leaning into the Shepherd's arms. I was a young mom just 28 carrying my third baby. My placenta had torn and I was on bedrest for three months. During this time, I was anxious and concerned not wanting to lose this precious life. The Lord woke me up and I felt His nudge to memorize Ps. 23. So, Mike and I recited and learned the verse. The sweetest part of the story was when my friend, Jan came over the next morning to visit and she brought me the book, A Shepherd looks at the 23rd Psalm. She didn't know God had awakened me to memorize Ps. 23, but God led her to share this book with me. This confirmed to me that the Lord had been with me in a real way all evening..
God is so good. He desires us to make Him our Lord daily.. leading us in the paths of righteousness.. As, I continue to make plans this fall for Peony Market, love my family well while navigating new challenges, engage in new ministries at our church and enjoy my favorite season of all- fall.. God is my Shepherd..
God loves and cares for us.. He is faithful. He protected my son's life. He restored and healed my body to carry Michael to term. He is an amazing son! He loves God so much and cares for others deeply.. I am grateful for his big smile and his love of family.
That time in my life was one of many monuments of Jesus' faithfulness. God leading me moment by moment as my Shepherd is so comforting. I look forward to this fall with excitement knowing we have a Shepherd that longs for us to hear His voice and follow..
So, as we move into this beautiful fall season with so much activity, we mustn't forget to walk hand in hand with our Shepherd who leads us in his pasture. He doesn't promise everything will be peaceful around us but within our souls we find the peace in the crazy.. and offer that peace to others.. Jesus's love and grace..