Chronic illness will be one of our biggest challenges in this lifetime, yet we can find ourselves still seeking peace and rest in ways that don’t include our Shepherd. Sandi reminds us of His desire to comfort us.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:1-3).
There is something so calming about these verses that cause me to return to them again and again.
I picture myself being guided by my Shepherd to a lush green meadow with a gentle stream rippling by.
When my pain looms large, I picture Him bringing me to quiet rest.
A good shepherd needs to be at the very center of his flock, caring for every need. Sheep will not lie down if they are afraid, or hungry. As soon as the shepherd appears the sheep will calm and become quiet. The shepherd already knows where the best pastures are, and the quiet waters.
Sheep will not drink from rushing streams. If their coats of wool get wet, the weight of their coats could drown them.
In many ways we are like the sheep, aren’t we? We often become restless and afraid, unable to rest. Our Shepherd must say to us, “Do not fear, for I am with you . . .” (Isaiah 41:10).
The Lord is our Good Shepherd providing us with rest, the nourishment of His Word, the quiet waters that provide us with the Living Waters.
“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from Him'” (John 7:38).
We need to trust the Good Shepherd as completely as sheep do their shepherd. The creator of green pastures, quiet waters and the sheep loves us. He longs to care for us. He wants to bring us His rest, and restore our souls. Let us accept His rest, and let Him ease our pain.
Lately my pain has been bigger and harder to control. Many times, especially at night I do become fearful. I get out of bed and head for my recliner chair, I make some herbal tea, and wrap up in my soft quilt. Then I pick up my kindle and read some of the Psalms.
Even though He already knows, I tell my Shepherd about it. He is right there telling me “Do not fear,”
Prayer: Father, thank You for being my Shepherd, a very loving Shepherd. I come to You and ask that You make me lie down in green pastures. Please lead me beside quiet waters. Thank You for restoring my soul. Amen.
About the Author
Sandra Platt has been on the devotional writing team for Rest Ministries since 2006. She has had Fibromyalgia for over 25 years, and now has numerous chronic health issues including profound Neuropathy that have caused her to be in a wheelchair. She has been married 33 years to her Pastor husband, and they have 2 adult “kids.” She enjoys reading, baking, trying her hand at crafts, and being outdoors when she can.
When you have forgotten to follow the Shepherd and are trying to do it on your own, how do you surrender yourself back to Him and follow His lead, and find His rest?
Take a few minutes to listen to Kathy Troccoli sing the song “Psalm 23”. It will warm your heart and give you that burst of hope that God really is watching over us and cares about every moment, every ache, every part of our hurting heart, and He wants to provide that place of peace for us. Love you, -Lisa