The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. Psalm 23:1
The gravelly voiced captain announced yet another delay. Crammed in my window seat aboard a plane that had already sat unmoving for two hours, I chafed in frustration. After a long workweek away, I longed for the comfort and rest of home. How much longer? As I gazed out the raindrop-covered window, I noticed a lonely triangle of green grass growing in the gap of cement where runways met. Such an odd sight in the middle of all that concrete.
As an experienced shepherd, David knew well the need to provide the rest of green pastures for his sheep. In Psalm 23, he penned an important lesson that would carry him forward in the exhausting days of leading as king of Israel. “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, . . . he refreshes my soul” (vv. 1–3).
On the concrete jungle of an airport tarmac, delayed from my destination and feeling the lack of comfort and rest, God, my good Shepherd, directed my eyes to a patch of green. In relationship with Him, I can discover His ongoing provision of rest wherever I am—if I notice and enter it.
The lesson has lingered over the years: look for the green. It’s there. With God in our lives, we lack nothing. He makes us lie down in green pastures. He refreshes our souls.
Where can you look for the green today? In what ways has God provided a moment of rest when you thought it was impossible?
Loving God, thank You for being my Shepherd and for making me lie down in green pastures to refresh my soul.
As a young man in rural Bethlehem, David killed dangerous predators that stalked his father’s sheep. Later he knew great victory in battle and also the terror of fleeing for his life from a jealous king (and later from his own son). Through it all, David learned he could rely on his Shepherd. And that’s the greatest reason for Psalm 23’s universal appeal. The object of praise is the Good Shepherd—David’s and ours. This wasn’t the first time God had been seen as a shepherd. As Jacob lay dying, he referred to God as a shepherd, saying, “The God who has been my shepherd” (Genesis 48:15) and credited “the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel” (49:24) for Joseph’s blessings.
The shepherd imagery used by David was later referenced by Jesus, who said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).