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.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23
These past few days have provided a microcosm of my continuing struggle over this blog. We are on vacation – a cruise, in fact – and as such I have been significantly dis-connected from the internet. Cut off from the digital world, I have not been writing. This means that a key motivation (posting so others can read) is off the table. I don’t need to write for the sake of others. In fact, I cannot.
This puts me asea in regard to my own personal devotions. What am I to do? Today I decide to read the psalms in the fashion of five psalms a day, corresponding with the day of the month. Today is the 23rd of May. I began with Psalm 23.
As I read, I observed words easily overlooked in a casual reading. For sometime I’ve noted that David begins by talking about God (he), and when the issue turns to troubled times – valley of the shadow of death – he speaks to God (“you”). There is an important truth in that turn.
Today I noted the phrase: “He makes me lie down in green pastures.” Why, “makes me lie down…”? I am taking this very personally. I might not be as inclined as I should be to rest in the place of restoration and true pleasure of God. God may need to make me lie down in these places.
And so he has. Today in particular I am writing this because I must. For my own sake. I need to reflect in this manner on God’s faithfulness, love, and shepherding guidance. So even as you read this, dear reader, it is not as much today for you as it is for me.
Thus I am at the initial purpose of this exercise. I want my blog to be a personal reflection on God’s word for my own sake. I need this in order to be refresh in my faith. I need it in order to be grounded. And God has provided the green pasture of this moment to reflect on his goodness and love.
Now on to Psalm 53; 83; 113; and 143. Green pastures await us there!