Psalm 23:2-3 (NIV)
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for His name’s sake.
Growing up I was part of a group at our church called Christian Service Brigade. We met on Thursday nights for a time of Bible study, working on our books and game time. It was always a great time joining together with the men of our church that took the time to be mentors for the boys of our church. One of the highlights of Christian Service Brigade was the monthly camp-outs that we took. We would load up the church bus with all our camping gear and we would head out for a weekend of enjoying God’s beauty.
One of my favorite trips was a 10 day trip we took. We loaded up in canoes and set sail through some of the lakes in Canada. It was great to enjoy the peace as we glided through the water. It was easy to experience the glory of God while surrounded by His wonderful creation. I remember how close we felt to God as we enjoyed the time we had.
Even though it was easy to experience God so vividly there, we can experience Him fully wherever we are. No matter what our circumstances, we can enter this other-worldly spot and find utmost peace. All simply by following Jesus' advice: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28 NIV).
Notice the benefits of such peace, as recorded in Psalms 23:2-3a:
1. "Lie down" -- Another way to say "rest" and "relief".
2. "Green pastures" -- Food for sheep. Another way to say that all of our needs will be met, both physically and spiritually.
3. "Quite waters" -- To relieve our inner thirst. These waters are quiet because in those moments we can hear His voice more clearly.
4. "He restores my soul": Too often we think there is no rest for the wicked, and we include ourselves in with that bunch. Restoration of our inner souls is possible however, not by our own might, but by His!
In other words, to experience God fully, we need to let go of our tendency to be in control, and we need to start enjoying His peaceful guidance.
Dear Lord, thank You for the guidelines You have given to us so that we may enjoy peace. Help us completely rest in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.