“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:1-3)
This marks the completion of the first 11 days and 2 Sabbaths of our Lenten journey. I hope and pray that you are reading this Psalm through each day and allowing theses ancient words of David refresh you.
One of the comforting aspects of this Psalm is that it begins by settling our soul with an intimate view of our heavenly Father. He is our Shepherd. The Good Shepherd. He provides for our needs so that we are not wanting. He puts us in good places where we can be nourished. He then leads us by the still waters and refreshes us. All of this brings peace beyond understanding into our hearts and minds. This gets us in the right frame of mind for the rest of the Psalm…for the rest of our lives for that matter.
Yet it all begins with our relationship to the Good Shepherd. This peace that is available, this comfort that the Psalm brings, is only available if the Lord is your Shepherd. If we trust Him to meet our needs… if we are willing to lay down in the pastures where He puts us… if we follow His lead to the quiet waters… if we trust Him to restore our soul.
To receive the care of the Good Shepherd and before we dive deeper into this wonderful Psalm, we must ask ourselves…Are we willingly placing our lives into the care of this Shepherd? A stubborn and resistant sheep does not experience the peace afforded by this Good Shepherd if they continually rebel against His leading. If the sheep does not trust the Shepherd than every provision is questioned and all direction is second guessed. Not only does this sheep miss the peace that is available but it experiences anxiety, anger and frustration.
So, how do we let go and place our lives in the Shepherd’s hands? Paul said:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6,7)
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, said:
“But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matt. 6:33,34)
Today, take a moment to re-commit yourself to trusting the Shepherd that will bring you peace. Stop resisting. You can trust Him. He will take care of you. That’s a promise.