I learned something significant this week. I am a sheep. Not literally though (unless you believe Webster’s definition that literally can mean figuratively now). I digress. You see, sheep are dependent on their shepherd for everything. I am on a daily journey to rely on my Good Shepherd, Jesus, every day. They are defenseless, a bit clueless and totally reliant on another to guide them through life. I think I may be tough, smart and self-sufficient but I don’t want to go it alone. This weekend, I read Psalm 23 while sitting in my car waiting for the start of my daughter’s soccer game. Here are the first 3 verses from the NIV Bible translation.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, 3he refreshes my soul.
I needed some soul refreshing this weekend. The transition back to school is tough even for the parents, or maybe, especially for the parents. We have had some health issues in our family that have weighed us down. If you live in Southern California, you know the past 2 weeks have had triple digit temperatures non-stop. I’m tired physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. Psalm 23 refreshed me. Most of us know it. We have read it many times before or had it read to us. The part that hit me was He leads me beside quiet waters.
I did some sheep research. Sheep are afraid of rushing water and refuse to drink from a stream. They are afraid of the noise, the movement, and they are afraid of drowning. Sheep can’t swim well and if they have a full coat of wool, they’d be so heavy with water, they would drown. In order to provide water, shepherds need to get creative. Shepherds will divert water using rocks and digging a ditch to the side of the stream, thus creating a pool. It’s the pool of quiet, still water. The sheep will drink from there.
The love of a shepherd for his sheep is visible in the tiny things he/she does to keep the sheep healthy and safe. The love my Shepherd, Jesus, has for me is even deeper. He wouldn’t think twice about creating a pool of quiet water to satisfy my thirst. You see, Him leading me beside quiet waters is to refresh my soul. What do quiet waters look like for humans?
- Reading God’s Word
- Listening to God
- Crying out to God in honest emotion
- Casting all my cares on Him
- Admitting my fears and asking for peace
- Connecting to God’s people a.k.a. my friends
- A nap
I hope this week you find yourself by quiet waters being refreshed. It’s the only place to be.
P.S. Here is the whole Psalm is you want to read it all.
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord