“He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” Psalm 23:2-3 (NIV)
“He makes me lie down in green pastures.” This familiar verse resonates with feelings of peace and rest. I always visualize a meadow with a bubbling brook whispering to me, “No cares. No worries.”
However, recently at small group women’s Bible study, new images of this verse began to develop. We were studying Priscilla Shirer’s, He Speaks to Me. One of the thought- provoking questions was, “What is your green pasture?”
As our group discussed this question, the following responses emerged:
“My children – I love being a mother,” stated a mother who had lost one child to cancer.
“Bubble baths and reading for hours,” replied a woman who serves in ministry.
“I like to crawl into bed at night – just resting and knowing the day is over,” said a woman who teaches at a local high school.
These responses caused me to ponder “green pastures” for days. What makes a green pasture a place where He makes us lie down and restores our souls? It certainly isn’t always a place of beauty and serenity.
I believe that green pastures vary with the individual, the season of life, and the quiet place God has chosen for us to enjoy life. If asked today, “What are your green pastures, Susanne?” I could say being a mother, bubble baths, great books, and crawling into bed anticipating a good night’s sleep. I could add dining out with my husband, rocking my grandchildren, and taking an afternoon nap.
Green pastures are the times and places in life that restore and refresh our souls from the ordinary wear and tear of the daily grind. Jesus desires to lead us to a place of quiet water out of the storms of life. However, we must look around our mundane lives to discover our local green pastures and then scurry to the side of the Shepherd so He can make us lie down in them.
Lord Jesus, You provide green pastures for Your children to rest in. Help me to open my eyes to my places of rest. Reveal to my weary soul the things in life that bring me refreshment and joy. Finally, I ask that You make me lie down and rest. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Make a list of your seven favorite activities. Then, if possible, try to complete one a day for a week. Ask the Shepherd to help you find your own green pastures.
What are green pastures for me?
How can I make time for my green pastures?
Do I allow or encourage my family to find time for their own green pastures?
Psalm 46:4, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. (NIV)
Revelation 7:17, “For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (NIV)