“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake”
What Scripture do you turn to when you are feeling lost and overwhelmed by the chaos and storms of life? For so many, whether Christian or Jew, or one who seeks out strength from wise ancient poets such as the psalmists, Psalm 23 is a source of comfort throughout the course of a lifetime. When a person is at the cusp of moving onto their eternal glory, this Psalm becomes the prayer of trust in the presence of God. The vibrant imagery brings a sense of being cared for in a way that fills one’s heart and soul. The rush and urgency of meeting a deadline, battling traffic to make an appointment, doing one more chore, baking dozens of cookies for the school party, and on, are set aside. Making room to be in the presence of God who restores our soul in Lent requires being intentional in spending time with God.
For your reflection…
How, where, and when can you set aside time for sitting in the presence of God on a regular basis? Even ten minutes to start with as a daily discipline can be centering in heart, mind and spirit.
What image brings you peace and comfort in Psalm 23? As you read the verses, imagine yourself in that place, such as alongside a stream with your toes in the water, breathing slowly and deeply. Calming the body and engaging the senses helps to decrease stress and reduces the level of cortisol in the body, the stress-inducing hormone.
Look for places where you can walk for even a brief time. Are there “green pastures” at a nearby park; “still waters” along a lakefront, even a small pool of water to wade in; a new “path” to explore in a city neighborhood or a country road?
In the gentle words of Psalm 23, may you be blessed, renewed and restored in your emotional, physical, spiritual and mental health each day.