The LORD is my shepherd;
I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in pastures of green grass
and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water.
He gives me new strength.
He guides me in the right paths,
as he has promised.
Read Psalm 23
Have you ever travelled in the dry and barren outback areas, over rough roads, through dry creek beds with rocks that threaten to slash your tyres to pieces? And did you ever suddenly come across a creek with water in it, where, surprisingly, green grass covered the banks next to peaceful waterholes, a place where you could sit down for a while, get some rest from the bone-jarring bumps, perhaps dangle your feet in the cool water.
If you’ve had this kind of experience, you will be able to relate to these verses very well. So much of Israel is like outback Australia, and green grass and quiet waterholes are just as refreshing there as they are here.
So much of our lives seems spiritually dry and barren. We seem so alone, so lost, buffeted from pillar to post. When we are like this, our shepherd, the good shepherd, comes to us in his word and speaks to us gently. He places us in the green spiritual grass by the quiet spiritual waterhole and rests us. He refreshes us, so that we can travel on through the dry barren times renewed and able to cope.
How silly it would be not to take the time out with God!
Father, I come to you for rest. Speak to me gently, and give me the refreshment to continue through life’s wilderness to the permanent green grass of heaven. Amen.
by Robert Turnbull, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
Visit the Daily Devotion archives page.