Reading: Psalm 23: 1-2
Verse 2: He makes me like down in green pastures… He restores my soul.
David opens the Psalm by declaring God to be his shepherd. Because of this, David knows he shall not be in want. Above all else, he has learned that God provides for him. Whether dealing with a bear while tending sheep or facing a giant on the battle field or avoiding the insane king, God has provided for way more than David’s basic needs. But God has provided for them as well, so David has a deep and abiding trust in God. It is a trust that had grown with experience and practice. It is one we can enjoy too if we are willing to “let go and let God”. But it is sort of a two-edged sword you see. If we never trust God enough to face our giants, then we never truly understand just how great our God can be. Deep and abiding trust requires us to take another step.
David goes on in verse two to another way that God cares for him and us: rest. God knew since the beginning how important it was for us to rest. God himself rested on the seventh day and made Sabbath rest one of the ten commandments. It is a practice that is deeply ingrained in the lives of Orthodox Jews to this day. David writes, “He makes me like down in green pastures… He restores my soul”. David is so in tune with God that he feels God leads him to a place of rest. David’s place is out in nature, the place of his youth. The green pastures and quiet waters are calling and David finds restoration for his soul in this place. It is a place that God invites us to as well. It is a space that requires deep and abiding trust as well. It requires that we trust God enough to rest. This means that we trust God can and will take care of tomorrow – with all of it’s requisite work and worries. This is also a “let go and let God” practice. It is also a means of trusting all that we have and all that we are into God’s hands. To trust in this way also requires another step – another step towards God and away from the world.
This day may we step a little further in our trust in God, entering deeper into His love.