One of the most wonderful experiences for me happens when I have the privilege of riding my very special horse (they are all special, but that is beside the point! LOL!), Harley, through the hills, down the trail along the river. Harley seems to love it and the peaceful nature of the river is definitely restorative to me. Being there with my horse, letting him have a drink, maybe even getting off and letting him have a bite to eat of the most wonderful, sweet green grass imaginable (he so rarely SEES green grass at home!)…it just does something for me to the depths of my heart. I think partly because I know he loves it so much, too.
In fact, when I am there, I can easily be reminded of Psalm 23, which is the focus of this lesson in The Lord’s Table workbook.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
As I look around at the beauty, I am reminded that all the hills and valleys, rivers, trees, and the sky…He created it all. It is so amazingly beautiful…and it barely touches on his own beauty and glory! I can hardly fathom it!
As much as the river ride seems to restore my soul…it is a pittance compared to what being with the Lord, taking in HIS presence, provision, power, and living for His purposes does.
When I keep my focus on HIM and take it off of this world, I am amazed at just how much “life works.” When I allow myself to be swept up in all the other things…then I become beaten down and tired.
When I walk with the Lord, these things happen:
- I am not in want (vs 1)
- There is rest and quiet (vs 2)
- My soul is truly restored (vs 3)
- He guides me in the way I should go that will honor Him (vs 3)
- He will take me through the valley of the shadow of death–there are things to process there with HIM at my side. (vs 4)
- He will ease my fear (vs 4)
- He will comfort me (vs 4)
- He provides me with abundance–a soul feast–that is available to me no matter what else is going on…even when I seem surrounded by enemies. (vs 5)
- He honors me (this is amazing to me!) (vs 5)
- Goodness and love are my companions (vs 6)
- All day, every day, starting NOW and on into eternity, I am with HIM (vs 6)
This is so much better than just a good ride on my pony with pretty scenery!
What David is saying here is that the relationship he has with the Lord provides him with rest and refreshment as he lies down in green pastures and drinks from quiet waters. There is a peacefulness and tranquility that comes into the heart and life of one who follows the Lord. He is not in want and her rests in Christ and drinks from Christ. (TLT, p. 175)
What does it mean for my soul to be restored? Mike Cleveland, the author of The Lord’s Table, describes it this way:
…simply being right with God through the work of Christ, and knowing that all is well with my soul. My sins are paid for, my past is dead and gone, my relationship with God is vibrant and my future is secure. My soul is restored from being “in want” to being content and this is evidenced in many ways, one of which is that there is no more need to overeat. (TLT, p. 176)
In Jesus Christ we find all our needs met; our souls aer restored, our hearts are satisfied, and we experience rest, refreshment and fulfillment. I hope that you are finding this life in Jesus and that you’re enjoying Jesus as the Table prepared for you by the Lord. (TLT, p. 177)