A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
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.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
This chapter makes you think of funerals, right? Me too. But what a waste that is. This chapter is for the land of the living. I came across it twice this week, once in a book I’m reading, and once in my children’s Bible. Any time this happens I make sure and take note as I take it as a message God’s trying to get me to hear.
I had every intention of waking up early enough this morning to spend time digging into this chapter and praying over it before everyone else in the house woke up. But I’m out of the habit of waking up early my 6:30 alarm hasn’t gone off and several days.
Before I knew it the hustle and bustle of the day was in full force. Breakfast had to be made and everyone in the family had needs and voices that needed to be heard. We had a wonderful plan for the day of going swimming at the gym and then taking the kids to a surprise.
As I told my girls about our plans for the day all of a sudden I felt dizzy and saw green stars when I looked at them.
And then My Shepherd said it’s time for you to lay down. Before I knew it I had one little girl singing me lullabies and one fetching the hairbrush so I could try to put her hair in a lopsided bun amidst the green stars I was seeing. I think sometimes God allows us to experience difficulties just so we will slow down and really listen for His voice. If you’ve never experienced A migraine let me tell you it will make you lay down, just as the psalm says.
I didn’t feel like I was in a green pasture. My head was throbbing. I was so lightheaded that even if I wanted to there was no way I could get up.
I knew it was exactly where God wanted me. Still and quiet and needy of Him. Of course I prayed that Jesus would heal me. And I know he will in due time. But I told him I trust him and I surrendered these ailments to him. He has a purpose and a reason for these debilitating headaches that make me lie down and make my day stop.
Suddenly I had time to sit still at his feet, because I was unable to stand on my own. Funny how it takes that sometimes to get us to that quiet place before him, humbled at his feet.
I listened to Psalm 23 on repeat on my phone as I memorized it. I pushed my plans of training for a triathlon, finally taking my Christmas tree down, and plans to take the kids to a movie out of my head. God is in control and for some reason he decided for me that all that had to come to a hault that day.
The green pasture had had for me was a fluffy recliner with sweet African girl rubbing my arm, singing me lullabies.
The quiet waters He led me beside were in the bubble bath with cucumbers on my eyes.
He refreshed my soul with a quiet house when Nick took the kids to the gym and I was able to hide his word in my heart.
What green pastures has he made you lay down in lately? Did you feel his presence in the dark valleys? Is your cup overflowing or half full?
His goodness and love will follow us all the days of our lives. These troubles are temporary in light of eternity, no matter how heavy they feel.
2 thoughts on “Green Pastures”
About two hours after my dad passed away a pastor arrived at the hospital. He did not know that Dad had gone on to Heaven. When he found out, he pulled out his Bible, and I knew where he was going to turn. Never before in my life have I wanted to scream, “Don’t read that!” It made it so real. I didn’t want it to be real. It couldn’t be real. How could he be here one moment and gone the next? The same pastor read the same Psalm again at the funeral. As he read verse four, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me…”, a cloud passed over the sun and a shadow fell over the cemetery. We were there in that shadow, but HE was with us. God Himself, Emmanuel, was with us. As the months passed verse three became so meaningful to me, “He restoreth my soul…” Only He can do that. People can restore homes and furniture and jobs and all kinds of things, but only he can refresh and restore the soul. I looked up the Hebrew word and found that one of the other places that word is used is in Isaiah 58:12, where it speaks of building the old waste places, raising up the foundations of generations, repairing the breach…that’s no little restoration. What an amazing Shepherd we have!
Rachel, I just love hearing stories about how He comforts in times like those, especially when our loved ones go on to be with Him. I know when that shade covered the cemetery that your heart brighten because you felt His presence. Yes, only He can restore our souls! Thank you for sharing how he has revealed himself even more to you as your Soul Restorer. He is an amazing shepherd. I prayed for you when I was in Uganda bc Susanne sent a message saying he had passed. I pray you will continue to be bold in sharing the message the Lord has given you. Blessings, friend!