Psalm 23 is one of the most loved and most quoted Psalms of all time. Even though many may know it by heart, a closer look reveals there is much to learn about pausing and resting. With the holiday season upon us finding time to rest and pause could be a much needed practice. With the shopping, hustle and bustle consider:
“The Lord is my Shepherd.”
The Lord is my Guide and Leader. It is important for me to pay attention to how He wants me to use my time and resources this holiday season. There will be many demands on schedules, parties to attend and people to visit. It is vitally essential to listen for the Lord’s voice and do as He says. Am I feeling rushed, overwhelmed, or stressed? Do I need to stop for awhile and reschedule an event(s)? Do I need to create more space for Jesus? Who is in control of your time, money, and life? Pause and reflect.
“I shall not want.”
What is making me want this holiday season? Am I more of a consumer or contributor?
Has Jesus become my sufficiency? If the Lord is my Shepherd, do I really want Him? Do I come to Him to get things from Him or because I love Him? Pause and search your heart.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures.”
Has Jesus lead me to a place of rest or a place of refreshment or a place of restoration? I should not neglect the place where the Lord has lead me. I should enjoy His presence and provision. Am I fighting His rest, His refreshment, His restoration for my soul? Pause and search your heart?
“Through the valley…for You are with me.”
Life is full of ups and downs. In either place it can be easy to forget Jesus is with us. In our pride on the mountains and in our grief in the valleys, we can lose sight of Christ. Have I lost sight of Christ in my surroundings and situations? Pause and search your heart.
“Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
The discipline of the Lord is gracious and full of love. How has God been showing me discipline or correction lately? Pause and search your heart.
“In the presence of my enemies.”
God vindicates and establishes His work and His people. God does not need another’s approval to do as He pleases. God sets up and God takes down. Has God been establishing things in places that seem strange? Has God been doing things that feel out of place? Pause and give thanks for the sustaining power of God!
“My cup overflows.”
The goodness of God, His blessings, and His kindness often come without asking. God does so many things I never asked for and gives them freely because He’s a good God and Father! How has God been good to me lately? Pause and simply give thanks!
“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me…”
What is coming behind me? If I have received a blessing I should be a blessing. The extent that I really understand how good God has bee to me is displayed in how I really treat others. Pause and look back at your last conversation, interaction, etc and see what you have left behind. Is it hope, peace, kindness or anger, hurt, discouragement? Pause and search your past and your path.
“I will dwell in the house of the Lord.”
The only reason I will dwell in the house of the Lord is because the Lord dwells in me, this earthly house. Pause and give thanks for the Lord taking up residence in you.