“He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength.” Psalm 23:2-3a
As we continue to look at Psalm 23 this week, I want to continue to encourage you to reflect on this Psalm in your personal life. Commit it to memory and allow the Holy Spirit to bring its truth to mind as you go about your day. I trust the Good Shepherd will use it as a balm for some wounds you may have.
Have you ever thought of God as an ardent task master? Do this or else! Work harder or I will show everyone how worthless and lazy you really are! Perhaps we don’t think such extreme thoughts, but there could be a nagging inner pressure that isn’t rooted in God’s peace.
Do you know that God has your well-being in mind? He does not want to drive you to the point of exhaustion, burn-out, or resentment, or to be motivated by pressure and guilt. He is the Good Shepherd who attentively loves us and will guide us beside green meadows, peaceful streams, providing the nourishment, rest, peace, and renewal that we need.
When the disciples were with Jesus during His earthly ministry, they were often very busy! But notice Jesus’ response. We are told in Mark 6:31-32, “Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone…”
That means that instead of Jesus saying, “Look how many people there are guys! We need to step it up! We need to get going. We don’t have time for things like sleep and food right now…” Jesus noticed the disciples’ needs and sought to care for them. He said, “Let’s get away for a while and just be in a quiet place and rest, eat, get refreshed.”
As you follow the Good Shepherd, believe that He loves you and wants you to be cared for. He may lead you beside the green meadow of taking a vacation, the peaceful stream of a very encouraging conversation with a friend, or even the renewal of strength that a nap can bring. Surely His ongoing presence in our lives brings consolation and rest for a weary soul. How might God be attending to your soul in this season of your life? Are you aware of His call to rest, peace, and renewal?