Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
The “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” prayer and the 23rd Psalm were the first prayers that I learned when I was a child. The child’s prayer of “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep”, taught to me by my mom, I learned before I can remember…probably when I was around 2 or 3 years old and Psalm 23 I learned when I was around 11-13 years old. I’ll be honest…I didn’t really have a clue what either of these prayers meant when I was that age, but I do remember that they both evoked a feeling of peace. I also remember that I knew Jesus was my Good Shepherd as I’d learned that at Sunday School.
My focus today in my blog is verse 2 of Psalm 23: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
When I was a girl, I could hardly wait until the snow melted and summer came to the farm. I liked to climb to the top of the mountain above our farm and lay in the tall grass and gaze at the blue sky…the tops of the trees swayed back and forth in the wind, but where I was lying in the grass, there wasn’t even a breeze. As the clouds drifted overhead, I felt a feeling of calmness sweep over me…sometimes, I would doze off and wake up feeling safe and warm. I never really associated that time with “lying down in a green pasture” but when I look back on it, I recognize the peace it created in what was an otherwise tumultuous existence.
This trek to the top of the mountain was my escape from a dad who was an alcoholic, and a mom who enabled him. I lived in a house full of constant battles between them, between my brothers and myself (have you ever seen the movie War of the Roses?). Now I didn’t share this with you to make you feel sorry for me! Although it was a dysfunctional family, I loved my parents, who are now both deceased, and I love both of my brothers. The purpose of my sharing this with you is to share with you an example of how God will find a way to bring you the peace of a green pasture if you want and allow Him to do this for you. He already gave us His Son who is the Shepherd that cares for us beyond anything we can imagine; afterall, He died for us! What greater love is there than that? Anything we ask in Jesus’s name Heavenly Father will grant according to His Will for us…
To a certain extent, I believe that’s what this covid-19 quarantine has done for me and I hope for you too. It’s allowed me to slow down, think about my relationship with Jesus and my desire to know and grow closer to my Father in Heaven. To allow the Holy Spirit to lead me beside the still waters. Once again, I’m going to say…don’t get me wrong…I realize that for many this quarantine has been a drain on them emotionally, financially and spiritually; what I am saying is that HE’s there, just waiting for you and me to give Him our burdens.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
When we turn to Jesus Messiah – Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew Translation), he lifts the burden in our hearts and replaces it with Love, Peace and Joy. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 the Bible talks to us about how we are supposed to Love with patience, kindness, never self-seeking (don’t put ourselves first) and not be easily angered and always Rejoicing in Love by protecting and trusting and persevering.
Maybe, just maybe, Heavenly Father has given us this time of hiddenness from the world so we can re-calibrate, rethink and reassess our life. Most of us have to admit that no matter how often we talked about it or said we were ready to do it, we weren’t willing to step away from the world on our own; so maybe he has taken this bad situation and turned it to good. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing right now? Instead of feeling stressed, worried, afraid, we should be Rejoicing in Love and it says in 1 Peter 4:8, that Love covers a multitude of sins. Colossians 3:15 says that we should let the Peace of Christ rule in our hearts. Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all Joy and Peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. If you don’t have Jesus in your heart and would like to feel this Love, Peace and Joy please read my blog: https://jesusamazinggrace.com/category/the-plan-of-salvation/
When we were children, we sang songs like JOY, JOY, JOY down in our hearts! I don’t know about you, but I felt that song with ever fiber of my body and actually, I still feel it today! Jesus LOVES Me is still at the top of my list of favorite songs. I remember singing those songs while playing and doing chores; when I found Jesus at a very young age (6 years old) he became my rock, I leaned on Him…it became natural to turn to Him because I could feel Him holding me when times were bad. Do you ever find yourselves singing songs about your Love for Jesus today? If you ever had any, did your JOY dissolve with your childhood? Instead of spending all of your time reading the internet and facebook articles on how bad it is…start counting your blessings today and each and everyday make the list longer than the day before. Even if your blessing is having a spoon to eat your soup with…or a towel to dry with after the nice hot shower…to be able to read and study your Bible anytime you wish to…about having a Pastor that is willing to give a Sermon via the internet, so you can be fed with the Word of God. So we need to quit looking at our quarantine as “HOW BAD IT IS” and start looking at it as “Lying down in green pastures and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us”.
In the USA, it may be bad for some, but wake-up people – that’s the case for many even when there isn’t covid-19 to deal with (homelessness, loneliness, child abuse, alcoholism, social security check that doesn’t even start to cover necessities of life) on and on I could write.
The majority of us, however, we are doing okay. We may have to think about things and do things a little differently, but we’re a long way from facing major sacrifices. Thankfully, most of us don’t yet know anyone who’s died of this hideous virus, much less know anyone in the hospital fighting for their lives and let’s all pray that because of our quarantine and social distancing we will never see the results touch our lives. And yes, my head isn’t in the sand…I recognize that there are some areas of the country hit mighty hard by this and God only know why…we can’t begin to guess or second guess the reasons behind the virus. Right now, a lot of us are focused on conspiracy theories and hate rhetoric and missing out on an opportunity that may never come again in our lifetime. A time to “Lay down in a green pastures” and commune with God.
***I’ve been receiving a magazine “The Voice of the Martyrs” from this website for many years and reading it will open your eyes to how good we have it in our country. https://www.persecution.com/