We have read it, said it, heard it countless times, “He makes me lie down in green pastures … He leads me beside still waters.”
And to those words I say, Please, pretty please … sign me up! Lie down? Anywhere! Still waters. I’ll take anything STILL.
Of course, I imagine it more like laying down next to a calm pool with a spa attached. Or by a quiet river nestled in the mountains. I am not at all in a season that yields long moments in the hammock soaking in the sun and God’s Word. Long gone are the meandering walks that bring wonderful restoration of my soul. I miss those. Heck, I miss completing a sentence or a thought. Right now, I can not go back to the pastures that gave me sweet refuge in other seasons of my life.
I am all in for the Shepherd of my flock to make me lie down in green pastures. All. IN. But when I read this particular verse lately, I have a hard time with it. It seems the grass looks greener on the other side … and it’s just hard to find my pasture right now.
It might be because our sheep flock has grown a bit this year. With a flock as diverse and crazy as ours … a trip to the grocery store alone is peaceful.
Maybe I can’t see my pasture because we are like a herd of fluffy, clueless sheep … and there have been some pesky flies that have been hanging around. Teenage years and challenges of fostering tend to buzz in our hearts alot lately.
Or perhaps it could be because we are in a whole new field and need someone to grab our herd with a staff and lead us as we wondering what today holds.
And then there is busyness, discontentment, worrying and a million other things that keep ALL of us from enjoying sweet green pasture.
I love our Shepherd … I trust our Shepherd … I NEED our Shepherd to help with those annoyances that bug us, I NEED Him to lead us and I NEED Him to keep us safe from our blind clueless ways and I NEED Him to make me lie down in green pastures.
I joined a group of friends that have been grazing through Psalms 23. One friend, Amy, asked “where is your pasture” , I rolled the eyes of my heart because rest and rejuvenation isn’t looking like I think it should in this season. I love her, but I didn’t love her question. I found myself selfishly longing for pasture/rest/quiet/rejuvenation. And in that selfish longing, I found myself looking for pasture. Thank Goodness God redeems even the rottenest of hearts.
In my quiet little struggle, I mumbled to another friend that it is a bit hard to find pasture these days. She simply, effortlessly and quickly responded with the kindest and most encouraging words.
And as quickly as those simple, sweet words were spoken Jesus, My Shepherd, led my heart into a bit of green pasture. And it was good and it was life giving.
You see, our intentional Shepherd would never have have us stay in the exact same place. All the grass would be gone if we sat and grazed in one place. He is moving us along to new, fresh, different and sweeter pastures.
And they look different. Way different. Kind words. A quiet hour. A breathtaking sunset or storm. An unexpected hug from your child. Time with a friend. Waking without an alarm. A Word from the bible. Peace in a rocky season. Our pastures are all around us.
If I wasn’t prodded to “look for my pasture” with Amy’s question … I would eventually not look at all. I would just keep longing for what I don’t have, “the greener grass on the other side.” I would miss out on the new and perfectly suited pasture for today and wander around in bitterness like the dumb sheep I am. What a shame it would be to miss out on new experiences, new views, new places of rest and encouragement because I was longing for something that isn’t right for me.
Look hard for your pasture today … it’s not always where you think it will be. But it is perfectly placed, by Your Shepherd … and a whole lot greener.