This is the scene that greeted me one morning this week.

A pasture full of horses.

Resting.  Content.  At peace.

Horses rarely lay down unless they feel safe.  If they sense danger is lurking, they will be alert and ready to run.  If they are hungry or thirsty, they will be restless and in search of what they need.  But if they feel safe, they will lay down to rest. 

As people, it is hard for us to rest when we worry about our needs.  It is hard for us to be at peace if we fear what may be lurking in the unknown future.  It is hard for us to unwind if we are in the midst of a battle or dark valley. 

Yet, Psalm 23 reminds us that we have a good Shepherd leads us to spaces of green pasture so that we can stop and rest.  In peace.

We can do this because he is with us, watching over us.  Protecting us.  Providing for us.  He does this for every season of life we are in – even in dark valleys, dangerous places where enemies lurk, or when we are facing a future unlike anything we have known before.  He remembers that we are people.  He did not create us to be invincible machines that can keep on going regardless of whatever comes into our path, yet sometimes that is how we live.  He will provide us time to disengage and rest in safety.

The Lord is my shepherd.  I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  (Psalm 23)

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