Psalm 23

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Jesus is my Shepherd, my guide and the One who takes care of me.
What else would I ever need?

He leads me to places I will flourish and grow – to where I can find strength through Him.
He stops and makes me rest, and drink in the cool waters of His Spirit.

He makes me new.
He takes me down paths where I can learn what is right and how to live for Him and His name.

When I turn and walk into the darkness, and sin begins to swallow me, He doesn’t give up on me. He stays with me, when no one else does. He convicts me, corrects me and disciplines me, because of His great love. When I find myself lost and unsure, He reminds me I have nothing to fear, because He is greater. I can trust Him completely.

In the midst of conflict, when the world comes against me, they come against Him. And, He has the victory.

He has set me apart, He fills me so full of His peace, His faithfulness, His loving-kindness and His grace, it spills over and soaks those around me.

Surely, God will showcase His goodness and His mercy today, tomorrow and every day. That’s who He is. And because He is God, I will trust Him with my forever.

Maketh me

The Lord is my Shepherd,
I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.

Scripture comes alive in real life, every day. God doesn’t intend to only exist inside the pages of a book, He came be with us day in and day out, residing in our hearts. No matter the type of day I have, Jesus is with me, speaking to me.

So, when my daughter absolutely refused to take a nap this afternoon, and a kicking, thrashing showdown ensued, I took a breath and prayed. And as I rocked and sang, and sang and rocked and held on tight, I kept praying. I knew she needed to sleep; her weary eyes and tired cries told me so. She is my daughter, and I know her through and through. That’s why I knew that naptime wasn’t optional.

Every parent understands there are times when children have to be made to go to sleep. There is that point where they become “too tired to go to sleep” or just plain stubborn and refuse. That’s when a loving mom or dad steps in and makes sure that they do.

As I was going through that longer-than-I-was-hoping-for process with Lauren, God spoke Psalm 23 to me. And I wondered, why does God say He leads us by still waters, indicating to me that we follow him to the still waters, but He has to make us lay down in the green pastures?

Every person I know ultimately wants peace in their life. They want the still waters. But laying down in the green pasture means I have to stop doing what I want to do, let all those “great” opportunities pass me, kneel down and trust that God will protect me. I must halt the busyness of my life and accept God’s rest. Only then can I be led to still waters. More times than not, to get to God’s peace and blessing, He has to make me do something I am resisting and lie down in complete submission to His plan, His purpose and His authority.

My daughter did fall asleep and is resting peacefully. When I came downstairs to help my son get ready for his naptime, he was already asleep on the living room floor in the tent we had set up this morning. So, I went to get his blanket, quilt and pillow to tuck him in, closed all the blinds and turned off the lights.

Now I sit here in the quiet, listening to my God as I write this post, knowing that the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.