Verse: Psalms 23: 2-3
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
My parents built a new home in the mountains, away from noise and business. You take a windy, bumpy road up a mountainside, passing very few other people to get there. The road eventually bends and reveals a beautiful, inviting log cabin. The screened porch in the back overlooks the mountains and trees that provide many colors throughout the changing seasons. One of my most favorite things is to wake up early, grab a cup of coffee and sit on the porch. The morning dew settles on the mountains like a blanket and even when it is cold outside, the sun provides just enough warmth when I sit in the light. It is peaceful and is medicine for the soul.
Try to think when you have felt overwhelming peace. Where were you? Did you leave feeling restored and refreshed?
As a sort of experiment I asked a couple co-workers and family members these questions and all of their answers were similar in that they all involved being outside in nature. I don’t think that this is a coincidence. When we are outside taking in the beauty of nature, we are beholding God’s creation. (Now, you may have a peaceful place that isn’t in nature but I think the common denominator is still His presence.) As I sit on my parent’s porch with the sun on my skin I find it is most easy to pray and I can feel His presence. It is easy to find peace when we are in His creation because we behold Him and He restores our souls.
Scripture has given us so many ways to find rest but rarely do we take the advice. We complain about unrest and struggle in vain because we won’t turn towards Him who gives rest. These Psalms clearly depict God’s grace and gentleness but also His attention to our weariness.
2 “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.”
He is a Father and He can tell when we are tired and weary before we see it ourselves. He sometimes has to take us by the hand and bring us to the place of stillness and quiet because He knows what is best for us. It is there, away from the noise and distraction that we let Him become the object of our affection and realize that it is what our soul needed all along.
3 “He leads me in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
He allows us to catch our breath for a moment, then He picks us back up and points us in the right direction. He brings us into righteousness and we can carry on with a refreshed spirit and a new set of lenses for life.
Even people asked who don’t know the Lord would say that nature is peaceful. Whether they know it or not they are looking at His beautiful creation. My encouragement would be that we would learn how to love the Scripture because His Word is life. He teaches us how to be in stillness and quiet through time and practice. My hope would be that we all learn how to behold Him in any place. No matter the circumstance or the space we are in, we can be led into quiet places to remember that He is the rest for our souls.
Lord we are so thankful that you know us better than we know ourselves. You can anticipate our needs before we even know that we have them. Thank you for your beautiful creation and that your presence inhabits all of nature. Give us a love for your Word and let us learn to find your presence anywhere we go. I pray that we would behold your glory as we do the sight of your creation. Lead us into stillness and quiet so that we can see how you love us and so that we can be made righteous by you. You are a good Father and we love you. Amen.
Author: Jillian Tulowitzky