These are the words of a song written by King David about 3,000 years ago. David was a Shepherd before becoming first a hero, then a general, then King of Israel. He played the harp, kind of the 1000 BC guitar, and wrote music about life and God.
It begins with,
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
It ends with,
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever.” NIV Ps 23
So if you would like to live with a sense that goodness and mercy have become your companions in life and that God is your landlord living next door, here is a real good place to start.
As a shepherd David knew what it meant to be full sometimes and hungry others. As a general he usually won but sometimes had to run. He knew wealth and poverty, triumph and hiding as the target of powerful people who wanted him dead. As king he knew loyalty and success, but also intrigue, betrayal and rebellion even from his own children. So these words were written by someone who had seen it all.
There are four areas of life in which we can trust that God will take care of our needs, refreshment, leading, protection and celebration. Each aspect of life is given to us in an image.
There is the first.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me besides still waters, he restores my soul (self.) Ps 23:2
Imagine yourself sitting beside God listening to the gentle flow of a mountain brook flowing into a pond. Slow down your breathing. Relax your muscles from head to toe. Allow an image to form. Is the sun shining? Are you in the pasture still or have you entered a woods bordering a pasture? What would such a place smell like? Just relax and allow the image to form. What is it like to be close to God? Where do you sense God’s presence most often? Just let you mind’s eye see that place whoever you experience it.
Now ask a question, “When have I experience being restored?” Take you time. Repeat the question if necessary. Make a note as to the time or times you have experience God restoring you and give thanks.
You may want the exercise read to you. Just click here.