Psalm 23 has forever been a favorite, even long before salvation. Its words would speak sweet peace to my soul, even though I had no clue what the spiritual implications of the text meant. When my Dad died in 2003, and I and my siblings stood round his bed as he took his last labored breath on this side of Heaven, my family sobbed in grief and I longed to bring them the peace I knew Heaven afforded. So I grabbed my Mom’s bible off the window sill of the hospital room, opened to Psalm 23, and read. I can’t define the sweet peace that enveloped the room. God had honored His children.
I had felt the power of God’s word before, but not like that. You could almost hear the Holy Spirit’s wind drive out the demons that desired heartache to consume us. I grieved, I miss him, but as King David said of his son, “can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me?” (2 Samuel 12:23b)
It’s not only death that brings me to Psalm 23. No, it’s more living that drives me there. Or perhaps it could be said that the Shepherd leads me there…
There’s so much goodness in Psalm 23 but for brevity sake I’ll focus on only one thought “He maketh me lie down in green pastures.”
He didn’t suggest it, He “made” me lie down. Why does rest come so hard for me? Likely most women in general. God usually has to knock me off my feet before I actually take the time to seek genuine rest. And what does “genuine rest” look like you might ask.
Even in the hullabaloo of life when it’s at its worst there is a still place in Christ Jesus. I imagine it to be somewhat like the field in my bible journaling picture. Without ticks, fleas and gnats of course! I imagine the scent would be that of honeysuckle or lavender and the temperature would be mid 70’s. Not too hot, nor too cold.
Genuine rest isn’t a physical space. It’s a spiritual place. It’s where righteousness is found not in our mediocre attempts to make things right, but in the realization that Christ’s blood makes things right. A little reflection can go a long way if it’s spent in His presence. Those still waters didn’t just happen… I can hear His words “Peace be still,” spoken over the turmoil in my life. My soul is restored through His righteousness, not mine. Else I’d still be in trouble waters.
God didn’t say the trouble was gone… the valley of the shadow of death, those dark times will come again. But every time it comes I can be rest assured that peace is just a pasture field away.
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