Psalm 23: Green Pastures

By Bethany Stanley

As I was reading my Bible the other night, I came across Psalm 23, a fairly familiar chapter in the Bible. Here’s what it says: 

A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, 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 your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23

In this chapter, there are clear themes of God as the Shepherd, and we as the sheep. There are also themes of God leading us into a restful state, but what does that actually mean

When we think about the concept of rest, we often think of it as a luxury. Who has time to slow down when we all have so many tasks to accomplish? This is true within the church, as well. We spend our time doing tasks for the Lord, and even for other believers, but do we actually take time to pause and rest? But something struck me as I read the words verse 2:

“He makes me lie down in green pastures…”

The word “makes” in this passage seemed to jump off the page. And then I asked myself:

“What if God sometimes makes us rest?”

I personally imagined God WWE style, body slamming me into green pastures for rest. If we really think about it, maybe that’s what it takes sometimes to get us into a state of slowing down, taking a break, and just being. As we go throughout our week, let’s practice resting in who God is, and slow our pacing where we can. Sometimes that can simply look like taking a walk, or talking with a friend. Whatever that looks like for you, let God lead you into green pastures.