Psalm 23 has long been a favorite passage of mine. It calms my restless soul and brings me peace. As I was reading it this morning, the Lord dropped this question in my spirit, “Is it possible to lie down in green pastures and be led by the still waters while walking through the valley of the shadow of death?”
I’ve read this chapter a million times or so it would seem, but I’ve always distinguished these being two separate seasons in life. Sometimes we are at peace and God is restoring our very souls and leading us in the right paths; and others, we are suffering through a dark valley.
This question from the Lord challenged my theology, though. What if it were possible to experience deep peace despite being in the valley of the shadow of death? Is it?
As the chapter moves on, it says:
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
The entire chapter of Psalm 23 speaks of God’s presence being with us throughout our lives and the hope of heaven we have as Christians.
I don’t believe that the storms of life are indicative of God’s presence being lifted somehow from our lives. And if He remains with us throughout the seasons of life, it stands to reason that His peace, which is a fruit of the Spirit, is also with us.
So, back to the question at hand…
Is it possible to lie down in green pastures, be led by the still waters and our very souls to be restored concurrently while we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death?
I believe the answer is a resounding yes. Even in our darkest hours when it would appear all hope is gone, there is a peace, which comes from God Almighty, that can undergird our souls.
Lying down in these green pastures sounds so lush and refreshing, doesn’t it? I can just picture these pastures by a huge lake on a spring day with butterflies flying around and the sun shining so brightly as it beams off the beautiful, blue water. A slight breeze is in the air making it neither too hot nor too cold. A perfect day.
Being led by the still waters speaks to nothing causing our souls to grieve, no anxiety. Just stillness. A supernatural calm. How many of us could use some still waters today?
This peace, this stillness is available to all of us through Jesus Christ. If we draw close to God, He promises to draw close to us. He is as close as the mere mention of His Great Name. We can experience this peace as we study God’s Word and spend time in prayer.
I do believe our souls can find rest even when the storms of life rage and threaten to capsize our vessel. Jesus is our anchor.
Psalm 23 begins: “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.”
In Him lies everything we need. May we all find peace for our restless souls and hope for the journey in God. And may we receive restoration and comfort as we are being led in paths of righteousness.
I encourage you to read this short chapter today and see how God speaks to you. The Bible is unlike any other book; it is a living book. It is one with God and it is how God speaks to us. To truly know the heart of God, we must study it and apply it to our own lives.
Blessings, my friend!