He makes me lie down in green pastures

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters.

Psalm 23:2

Source: abidinginthevine.net.

When I’m tired and stressed, I like to head up to Reigate Hill on the North Downs near where I live. The views across the Weald to the South Downs are awesome. It makes me feel just a little less stressed and a little more normal just to sit there and relax.

When I’m really busy at work and feeling very stressed, however, it seems there’s no time to do anything but work. I’m sure you’ve been in a similar position and know for yourself that when you get in this position home life suffers and you find yourself being irritable with those who love you, and not making time for your friends. You even find yourself cutting yourself off from God, and not making time for Bible study and prayer.

God knows what is best for us, though, and if we let him, he will take care of us. He wants to lead us, shepherd-like, beside quiet waters. He wants us to lie down in green pastures. If we accept him as our shepherd and follow him like sheep, this will be a painless experience. There are times, though, when we refuse his leadership, when we think that we know better than he does, and we wander away from him. When we do this we can expect a slightly more abrupt leadership, however. He can make us lie down in green pastures of peace. This can feel as if a carpet is being pulled out from underneath us. There are times, though, when God has to show us that actually, he does know best. We have to trust in him, and realise that, as our creator, he knows better than anyone what we need.

If we allow God to lead us, he will help us to deal with the stresses and strains of everyday life. He will take us by the hand and lead us on that relaxing and restorative walk beside quiet waters to the green pastures that he has prepared for us.

Listen carefully to God today. Do you need to stop? Are you neglecting him, your family or your friends through working too hard? Stop and lie down in those green pastures now, otherwise you might find yourself being stopped, since God loves you and knows best!

David trusted that God would bring him peace in his life, and said with confidence, “the Lord is my shepherd.” I wonder if we can trust in God to lead us to peace and say, “the Lord is OUR shepherd?”

As featured on Premier Christian Radio’s ‘Inspirational Breakfast’.

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Listen to this Thought of the Day:

He leads me beside quiet waters

He leads me beside quiet waters.

Psalm 23:2(b)

There’s something almost magical about water. I used to teach on Saturday mornings which, at the end of a long and very busy week, was very tiring indeed. Sometimes I’d then catch a lunchtime flight to visit Claire, my fianceé, in Northern Ireland, who would then whisk me off to the shores of Belfast Lough for a relaxing walk from Crawfordsburn to Bangor. No matter how tired and stressed I felt, that coastal walk always managed to revive my soul. Claire knew the restorative properties of that walk, and would often drive me down to the lough.

If Claire knows me well, God knows me even better. He knows all of us better than we know ourselves. He loves and cares for us more than we will ever know. Since he created us, he also knows exactly what we need. Like a shepherd who cares for his flock, God leads us, and if we accept that lead, we will find that our lives are far better than they would otherwise be.

I am sure that in a flock of sheep there are some who try to run away from the shepherd, and we are just like that. We think that we know best, and try to escape God’s leading influence in our lives. This upsets God, because he realises that without his leadership, we will ultimately struggle and die, but he gives us the choice of whether to follow him or not.

If we follow his lead, he will help us to deal with the stresses and strains of everyday life. He will take us by the hand and lead us on that relaxing and restorative walk beside quiet waters.

Do you think that you know best, or are you happy to accept God’s leadership in your life? Will you let him take you by the hand and lead you to the quiet waters? Remember that he knows best, not you!

He makes me lie down in green pastures

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

Psalm 23:2(a)

View from Saddle Knob, by Ian Capper

When I’m tired and stressed, I like to head up to the North Downs near where I live and sit in the sun on the amusingly named Saddle Knob. It’s a large expanse of grass at the top of Reigate Hill, and the views across the Weald to the South Downs are awesome. It makes me feel just a little less stressed and a little more normal just to sit there and relax.

When I’m really busy at work and feeling very stressed, however, it seems there’s no time to do anything but work. I’m sure you’ve been in a similar position and know for yourself that when you get in this position home life suffers and you find yourself being irritable with those who love you, and not making time for your friends. You even find yourself cutting yourself off from God, and not making time for Bible study and prayer.

God knows what is best for us, though, and if we let him, he will take care of us. He doesn’t just suggest politely that we stop work, he makes us. Sometimes this can be in rather alarming ways, and we feel as if a carpet is being pulled out from underneath us. There are times, though, when we think we know best, and God has to show us that actually, he does. We have to trust in him, and realise that, as our creator, he knows better than anyone what we need.

Shepherds in the middle east didn’t just lead their sheep to green pastures, they were instrumental in creating them. Green pastures are not all that common in the desert, and a great deal of irrigation is needed to create them. Since shepherds love their flocks, though, and recognise that with them they would die, they worked hard to ensure that these pastures were created.

Our God is the same. He creates green pastures for us, leads us to them, and makes us lie down. If we listen to him, this is a painless experience, but if we ignore us, he can be more forcible in making us stop.

Listen carefully to God today. Do you need to stop? Are you neglecting him, your family or your friends through working too hard? Stop and lie down in those green pastures now, otherwise you might find yourself being stopped, since God loves you and knows best!