En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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He Leads Me Beside Still Waters!

Posted by Scott on March 28, 2008

Psalm 23:1-6 is a short chapter.  However, the Lord has it jam packed with meat that each of us guys can live on.

We have a God that is our Shepherd.  This means He watches over us as sheep.  Whether we like to think about it this way or not we are all like sheep prone to wonder away and get into trouble unless our Shepherd keeps us in line.  A Shepherd makes sure we are in the right places to eat and drink, so we will want for nothing.  This does not mean we will have everything we want, but everything we need…there is a difference.

Our great God gives us green lush pasture grass to lie down in…nothing greater to a sheep than tall luscious green grass in the morning with a bit of cool watery dew on top, yum-yum.  With us it is the same way.  Our gracious Lord gives us a place to lie down in peace at night.  It is our Shepherd that gives us this sweet rest. 

Then we are lead by the crystal clear calm waters that are quiet and peaceful.  These can be described like small ponds with not even a ripple across them, like looking at glass.  Come to think of it I have not seen sheep drink from a running brook or stream…as sheep they are probably too scary to drink from such a source.   Mostly I have seen sheep drink from is a still, quiet, pond or lake only.  Could it be this way for real..I will have to research further on that?  Anyway, in the middle of a hard day, God will calm us and quiet us with His presence.  Just knowing He is beside me is all I need to know in order to gain a steady hand with my problems.  Even if my issues are not going my way just having my Jesus beside me is all I need.  It is in this moment beside the calm quiet waters that He restores my aching troubled soul.   My Lord brings about the stability in my soul so that rest and peace can take place.  He gives us the steady hand to accomplish our work.  He gives us the steadiness to calm our families during the storm.  As Jesus leads us we can lead our families as well.  It is our job as dads and husbands to help our families to drink from these calm quiet ponds and find rest there.  We are to lead our families to the Shepherd.

You know guys, God is our personal guide leading us on the right paths in this life.  It is for His glorious name that He guides us back over to a righteous road away from the treacherous way we can be headed.  You know us sheep are prone to wonder and not recognize when we are going the wrong way that leads to our tragic end…God as our Shepherd knows this.  Thankfully we can count on His beautiful guidance each and every day.  It is hard for any man to give up ourselves in order to allow God to rule our lives, but guys, we must.  We must be the example of obedience to His word to show our families it is “ok”.  They will gain trust in our Shepherd if they see us trusting and obeying Him.

Throughout life each one of us will walk through the deepest darkest valley.  As the scripture puts it “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”.  It is appointed that every man die once a physical death.  However, in this instance we can apply this “darkest valley” as death, financial ruin, spiritual upheaval, major health issues, etc.  In our lifetime we will walk through many dark valleys in order to get to the next mountain top and we have to climb this huge mountain just to get there.  Mountain tops are not that long compared to the valley below them and the sides leading up to them.  This is why we see far more valleys and find ourselves climbing mountains most of the time than we experience standing on top of the mountain.  Each mountain top experience I have had was absolutely wonderful…I never wanted to leave there, however, in order to continue to grow closer to my Lord and be obedient to His calling, I had to leave the mountain top and begin that long decent down the other side towards yet another valley.  This is tough to do.  God never promised us it would be an easy life, but that it would be one worth living in the end.  You see, we can count on our Lord to walk with us through these darkest valleys.  We need not fear any kind of evil since He is with us.  He has two big sticks to beat off anything that might try to keep us in that valley or ruin our time there…it is His rod and staff.  We can take great comfort in knowing this as we follow God along the right path through the valley.  Guys, these valleys are never where we want to stay, but the wisdom gained there is absolutely irreplacable.  I like to be beside a calm lake, with beautiful greenery all around.  I love watching the birds fly in and animals roam around those areas.  It can be great sometimes.  If we are not careful, guys, we will get accustom to living in the valley and not want to start climbing the mountain again.  These valleys have tremendous purpose, but we must continue on.  That mountain top is still the best place to be even if for a short period of time.  You see, it is there we can actually see all of God glorious wonder.  It is there we can shout the praises of our great King and see where it is we have been.  It is hard to see where we have been in the valley, but on the mountain top we can see it all that is behind us and much of what we have coming before us.  This is not saying we can see each trouble still to come…we can see much of the terrain we have to cross in order to get to the other side.  Hey, like my kids, I love a good adventure and in that valley below is adventure guaranteed.

Each of us no matter how gracious or good we are will have enemies.  Even if this enemy is satanic in nature, it is still our enemy.  As a matter of fact if anyone is against God they are an enemy of God making them our enemy as well.  So, regardless how hard we work to make sure no one is our enemy, we will still have enemies.  Our gracious Lord prepares a table that is fit for a king to eat at right in the presence of our enemies.  He intends that the enemy see that we belong to Him.  God wants our enemies to know that He is our God, our Guide, our Shepherd, Our Leader, and our Redeemer.  At the same time He anoints us or honors us before our enemies, which is one of the highest forms of affection and honor He will bestow on us.  Our cup will run over with the affection of our great sovereign Lord.  While the enemy can only grumble and look on…God is loving us and taking care of us each step of the way. 

Finally, we find ourselves with goodness, mercy, and love following us all the days of our lives.  This is a promise.  Men, understand that we can live off the promises of God…this t-bone steak for us!  This promise is not that we will spend our entire lives on the mountain peaks, but that even in the darkest valleys goodness and mercy and love will follow us there.  We can count on our God to provide that for us.  In the end of it all is really no end at all.  For we will live in the house of God forever.  For all eternity we will rest with our great God in heaven livign life to the fullest in thegreatest sense that God intended us to live.  These valleys, the shadow of death, the financial turmoil, the marital problems, the health issues, the pain, the suffering, the depression, the unclear direction, the uncertainty..this will all pass away someday into a new morning that is crystal clear with the light of the glory of our Lord Jesus with His hands open wide for each of us.  As God has said, “though I walk THROUGH the valley”.  It does not say we are staying there or how long we will be there.  We are only walking through it…there is another mountain peak coming…there is a new day dawning.  His mercies are fresh and new each morning, guaranteed!  After all is said and done in this life, we have eternity waiting…stop and imagine eternity or forever…what will that be like?  What a glorious picture we can make of this.  Those without Christ have no picture to visualize.  Those of us in Christ, oh what a wonderful day it will be.  AMEN!


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