Reading: Psalm 23: 1-3
Verses 2b and 3a – He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul.
Psalm 23 is well known. At its core it speaks of resting in and trusting in the Lord. The Psalm uses the common shepherd-sheep analogy to illustrate our relationship with God. In a society that was highly agrarian, the original readers would have related well to this analogy. Today many would have to google it to find a video that explained it. Articles are just too much. (I am only half joking.)
The relationship between a shepherd and their sheep is exclusive. The shepherd will do anything to protect and care for the sheep. The sheep will only follow the voice of their shepherd. This very well parallels our ideal relationship with God.
Just as it did in David’s day, life gets busy for us too. Just as it did back then, the voices of the world were loud and called often. Just as it was back in the day, we need time to step away, to find some solitude, to reconnect deeply to God. In the Psalm, this place of quiet and solitude was out in a meadow beside some still waters. One can easily imagine birds singing as butterflies flutter around. Just envisioning it brings a lot of peace.
I try and get out to walk each morning. It is just around the streets of our small community. As I walk past homes and businesses, there is time to think and pray. As I walk past churches and the jail and the courthouse and the schools, there is opportunity for specific prayers. My walk is definitely not through green pastures and the still waters are puddles from melting snow. But I am outside in God’s creation, enjoying the sounds of the birds, connecting with God in a time of quiet prayer and reflection. It is good for my soul.
This day may we all find a quiet time and space to be outside in God’s beautiful creation, allowing God’s presence to restore our soul.