"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."
For years I had locked in my mind a version of Psalm 23 with the words in verse 2a being, “He makes me lie down in green pastures.” I remember, then, being startled when I first read another version which read, “He lets me lie down in green pastures.” What a difference! In my way of thinking, God determines I need a time of rest in the first, and I ask and am allowed permission to take a rest in the second!
In looking up the Hebrew definition of the word make or let in this Psalm, it appears to me that make is the more accurate (see bottom notation). I know that this is the word that best describes me! In my case, I have never asked God, “May I have a period of rest now? I’m really tired.” No, I tend to be more like Martha than Mary—doing, doing, doing, not recognizing that I should be resting at my Savior’s feet! In fact, one of my favorite sayings has been, “It’s better to wear out than rust out!" So, in my case, God has to hit me with a sledge hammer and say, “STOP! You need rest to refresh your spirit, your emotions, and your physical being! Take time to do nothing but focus on Me—Your Lord and Shepherd! I need to restore your heart and soul!”
So God clobbers me a good one—maybe it was that triple bypass surgery!—takes my hand, and pulls me to a lush, green pasture near a quiet stream. I picture myself lying in the rich grasses of that pasture during the day, gazing at the LORD’s creation—the sky, the trees, the plains, the sea, the mountains, whatever lies before me—each shouting His name! I listen to the gently, babbling brook singing, “He loves you, He loves you, He loves you!” I then watch as the sun sets, creating a masterpiece of brilliant rainbow colors in cirrus clouds; then in the deepest, darkness of night, I watch a multitude of shooting stars skid across the background of God’s vast universe.
Once more, in the new morning, I sit and open my Bible; I drink in God’s words, and there I find peace and rest. Jesus, my good Shepherd, restores my body, heart, mind, and spirit. He gives me strength to walk forth, fully restored, and I thank Him for making me lie down.
1. https://blogs.blueletterbible.org/blb/2012/04/11/biblical-hebrew-applied-psalm-23-part-2/ “Thus, a more literal translation of the first part of this verse would be, “He continually causes me to lie down in green pastures,” with the implication being that at times I do not have the sense to know when it is best to lie down and rest in order to be renewed and refreshed.”
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”
Psalm 62:1 “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him.”
Psalm 23:1-2 “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
PRAYER: Father, thank you for knowing me intimately. You know when I need to work and when I need to rest. When I ignore the signs my body gives me and/or become unaware of that needed rest, You, as my perfect Shepherd, create circumstances that make me lie down in green pastures near streams of quiet waters. Perhaps You speak to me in a quiet whisper, but at other times, You can only get my attention with crashing thunder. Father, I open my heart to you saying, “I am Your sheep! Do whatever is necessary to guide me to your verdant pastures and quiet streams when I need them; then I may walk, fully restored, prayerfully fulfilling Your plan for my life and blessing the lives of others, all while declaring your majesty and glory.
Disclaimer: I am just an ordinary woman who loves Jesus, accepting Him as Savior at the age of thirty-two and digging into the Bible ever since. How could I possibly hope to develop a heart relationship with God and trust Him with my life if I didn't know who He is?
These devotionals are written to help you journey with Christ and grow in your heart relationship with Him. However, it is essential that you examine my words, and those of all other 'teachers," with God's Holy Word. Therein lies the source of all truth!
Candice Mary Thomas writes about loving God and loving people! Coming to Christ at age 32 and now in her 70's, Candice knows what a difference it makes living with or without Christ as one's personal Savior.