I recently got to spend time along the shores of a beautiful lake in the Ozarks. The grass was green, and as the picture shows, the waters were still and quiet. (One of the adjacent resorts is actually named, “Still Waters”).
As I was relaxing by the water, the words of Psalm 23 came to mind. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” (Ps 23:1-3).
Every time I hear those words, they sound so tranquil and serene. But, David hardly lived a tranquil life. In fact, if there was ever a guy who needed to get away from it all, it was him. Listen to his words, “As surely as the Lord lives…, there is but a step between me and death.” (1 Sam 20:3)
Can you imagine living with just one step between you and death? Yet that’s the way David lived for several years as he fled from Saul. He lived with the reality that he was just one wrong move away from being killed. If he turned left instead of right, he might die. If he stayed in a town one day too long, he might die. If he slept in 10 extra minutes, he could die.
So, when David wrote about walking through the valley of the shadow of death, he knew what he was talking about. And what David described, I believe, was a God-given respite from the crises; a temporary rest. David’s trials weren’t all removed on the day he wrote the 23rd Psalm, they were just placed “on hold” long enough from him to catch his breath, regroup, and replenish body and soul before returning to the stresses of life.
Once in a while we all need to lie down in green pastures, sit beside still waters, and allow God to restore our soul. Take some time to spend with Him soon. –Dave
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