July 7, 2012

Beside the Still Waters

Psalm 23 (KJV)

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Am I doubting how, where, and why God leads me?

It's tempting to do this, because I have been trained to believe I must plan my own life, plan my course of action, and determine to accept only certain outcomes that meet my standards and my preferences.

When the Psalmist David writes "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want", this statement re-sets my standards for what is acceptable. I do not want anything apart from how and where God leads me. If I want something else, it's time to re-train my thinking. God wants what is good for me, beyond what I can currently imagine or believe in.

"Beside the still waters." Sheep cannot drink from strong, running waters. They will only drink from still waters, where they feel safe. You won't see sheep stomping off into waters with high currents. They will wait to be led to where they can handle what is before them. They may grow thirsty, but they will wait to be led. They will wait to be led to where they can safely receive the refreshment and strengthening they need from still waters.  Am I patient enough to wait, to be led?

He leads me beside the still waters. Do I really want this? Am I "the master of my fate, the captain of my soul?" I am not the product of my decisions. I am the product of His decisions. I allow the Good Shepherd to lead me beside still waters.

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