“The Lord is my shepherd ; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” -Psalm 23: 1-2
When we picture a shepherd, it is usually in a field with rolling green hills. However, in the context that the familiar Psalm 23 was written, this was not the case. The land is arid and hostile. When the writer says, the Lord is my shepherd, it is not just some cozy metaphor, it is a declaration. God is my provider amidst this hostile land. When you realize the context of Psalm 23 it shifts from the common comfy green hill interpretation, into the realization that God is my provider amidst a difficult and broken world. Green pastures are not plentiful, and in fact they move. The shepherd does not lead the flock to the same spot every day, but instead has the foresight to see where the green pastures will be. This often messes with my desire for routine and formulas. This formulaic approach is often because I am trying to minimize the amount of faith required in following my shepherd. The shepherds provision continues with leading the sheep to still water. Sheep will not drink from fast moving water. Even if they are in dire thirst, they are intimidated. In these moment, the shepherd finds a still pool, and when there is not one available, will dig out a channel to create one for the thirsty sheep. How often has this been seen in my life. I desire to be close to God, yet fear stops me. Yet my Savior comes to me, my shepherd leads me. Life changes, our environments change, our city changes, yet God is our Shepherd, and He will lead us.
Lord may you be our Shepherd. May you lead us to your green pastures, even as they may move and not be in familiar places. May you lead us to still waters so that our hearts may be filled and quenched by your presence. May you guide us and teach us how to live. Where there is darkness may you bring light. Where there is pain may you bring healing and where there is despair may you bring hope. May you bless us and keep us, may you cause your face to shine upon us and grant us peace. May you give us faith to follow you.
Over the course of this month revisit this meditation. Where do you areas that you need God’s leading and guidance, even if we don’t want to admit it.
Reflect on a time when you experienced the presence of God leading you through and take a moment to celebrate that time.