I heard this in a movie the other day and was instantly reminded of how the Lord watches over us. Isn’t that funny? I had turned the movie on as an escape more than anything else. My mind was too tired to read (even the Bible, if I’m allowed to say that), let alone write anything. The movie itself was a little weird, but then one of the characters started repeating Psalm 23:
“The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” You can feel the peace settle in just those first few words, can’t you?
“He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul…” That sounds amazing. Rest? Walking along quiet waters? Being filled instead of running on empty? Only God can do that.
“He guides me in the paths of righteousness…” That means… we don’t need to lead ourselves? We don’t need to figure it all out? No, instead He leads us and all we need to do is trust and follow.
Aren’t all these truths so peace-giving? Just in those first couple verses, we see that the Lord guides us, supplies our needs, provides us with rest, restores our souls, and guides us on.
Wouldn’t it be funny to see a sheep trying to lead its shepherd? Can you imagine? A little sheep that can’t protect itself in the moment it’s in, let alone know what the best way is for the future. Can you imagine that little sheep following after his shepherd thinking, “Will the pastures always be green? Will the water always be quiet? What will we do when we get to the valley? Does the shepherd know this is the valley of the shadow of death?”
Instead, the sheep follows. The shepherd’s staff is a comfort. His proven trustworthiness means the sheep has nothing to fear.
It’s moments like these I’m so grateful to be reminded that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. This is the same Jesus who said:
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” – John 10:11 (NASB)
He gave reassurance that nothing can keep us from Him; we are His:
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” – John 10:27-29 (NASB)
This is the same Jesus who said:
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 (NASB)
Doesn’t that sound amazing? Rest for us in our weariness. Learning from Him. A humble, gentle hand to guide us. Rest for our souls.
Maybe our strength isn’t dependent on how hard we work or fight after all. Maybe all this time, our strength has actually been intended to grow from our willingness to rest… while our Good Shepherd takes hold of the lead.
Here’s to our journey!