A few weeks ago I began to think about the truths in Ps 23 and shared some ideas through various ways. Then this weekend VelvetAshes held their online retreat for overseas workers and used this psalm as part of the scripture and reflection section. I gleaned even more insights! So here are some of my thoughts I wrote mostly before the retreat.
Recently I looked at Psalms 23rd and something really stood out to me. God does the work of restoring my soul, not me.
I’m all into soul care and trying to get Sabbath rest, physical rest, taking breaks and vacation… Yet I am feeling tired. A kind of soul tired that I can’t quite seem to get rid of. I don’t doubt that it’s linked to adjustments, grief and loneliness but also perhaps it’s linked to me TRYING TO RESTORE MY OWN SOUL.
I see in Psalm 23rd that The Lord is my Shepherd… and then He does the rest of the work. I’m just the sheep that follows.
He MAKES me lie down in green pastures. Somehow it almost sounds like He forces me to rest. And it’s about me lying in green pastures. It’s not grazing or eating the lush green grass, it’s lying down in the midst of the grass. Perhaps the sheep can grab a mouthful but it’s not about eating. It’s about rest and comfort.
He LEADS me beside quiet waters. A peaceful, rippling brook. As a teen we lived along a small river and the water rippling over the rocks was soothing. Not a rushing dangerous flood like water but water that brought nourishment and life.
He RESTORES my soul. He does it!
And then He even does more…
He GUIDES me
and even in the shadow of death (grief, shattered dreams, unmet expectations) He is with me
HE is with me, His rod and staff comfort me! He continues to do the work.
And even surrounded by enemies I find comfort and rest
My head is anointed, my cup overflows. He does that too!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!!
It’s hard to really wrap my mind, heart and soul around these truths! But… Wow! Life-changing, Life-comforting… and Life-restoring!