Ah! My favorite resting place, a hammock strung between two tall pines near the lake with a glass of raspberry ice tea in reach. Time for some significant shut-eye, right? Well, that depends. If I start worrying about whether the rope holding the hammock is sufficiently knotted, or if the dam at the lake will give way and flood the campground, or if gnats are doing the backstroke in my tea, I will NOT be getting much sleep. We’ve all had restless nights in restful places, and many of us may be experiencing that now. So what can we do?As we continue to look at the 23rd Psalm, we see how a shepherd cares for his sheep. Verse two says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters.” Now if you are a human, that may not mean much, but if you imagine yourself as one of the shepherd’s sheep, it’s a whole, new, woolly story. First, the shepherd ‘makes’ the sheep lie down. Why? Are we too dumb to know that we need to stop what we are doing and take time to rest? Sometimes. So once down, will the flock rest? Only if they feel secure. Sheep are very fearful animals. If they sense danger or feel insecure, they will not rest. And neither do we.
When Jesus is our Shepherd, the ‘green pasture’ is a safe place because we know our mighty Defender is standing guard right beside us. The Shepherd provides, once again, everything His ‘sheep’ need, nourishing food, a calm source of water to drink, and a comfortable, safe place to rest. True rest is found when we trust Him with our anxious thoughts, fears, and worries. As you lie your head on the pillow tonight, visualize releasing your worries. “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7). Be at peace and be refreshed. Your Shepherd is near saying, “I’ve got this.”
See you next Wednesday with Psalm 23, verse 3.