Psalm 23

Isn’t it funny how sometimes you know something but you forget - or refuse - to practice it? I have learned so many times in my life that God alone is the source of peace that never fails. I have also learned that this peace is like food. I can’t eat once and live for a month. I have to eat several times a day. I’ll survive if I eat once a week, but it’s not truly living. So, I’m trying to establish a habit of going to God first thing in the morning. I am not a morning person. I {heart} sleep. So very much. So, at first, this habit consists of reading whatever devotional book, bible or blogpost that I can access without actually getting out of bed. One morning, I choose a book that has not really spoken to me in the past. It’s good; it’s just not my cup of tea. I choose a chapter in the front that sounds like it might help me right now and read it. Ok. Sorta meh. No earth-shattering, mind-blowing revelations. But, you know, that can’t happen every day. I was really looking for something that morning, but it’s not something that can be pushed. I find I can also reach my Bible, and start reading the section of Psalms that the author used as a reference. It’s an old Bible, one I used on my mission trip - another time in my life when I desperately needed God’s touch to make it through each and every day. I notice something underlined on the opposite page. Wouldn’t you know? 18-year old me underlined the very verse that’s been haunting me

Psalm 23:5 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” 

What I’ve never realized before is that this verse is in Psalm 23 - Psalm 23!  You know - “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil... Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me... He makes me to lie down in green pastures...” - that Psalm 23! Again, the quiet, little, loving thump on the head from God. “You feel like this is the valley of the shadow of death. This is hard for you now, I know. But I have green pastures waiting for you. I will comfort you. And I will overflow your cup with blessings.” 

You have to consider also the emotions that “green pastures” bring to this desert city girl. I love visiting places that are green. They amaze me. To be in a place where grass is all around is so calming to me. Whenever I’ve been in a place like that, I feel as if I could reach out and touch God. In each blade of glass, in the sunlight that’s so much gentler when it’s not reflecting off of rocks, dirt, or concrete, in the beauty of the gentle flowers or the strength of massive trees. That’s the image that God put here. That’s the chapter that has been on my heart from first learning this news. God, in his infinite wisdom, allowed me to be angry with him, to fight, to rebel against His will, and He dropped that verse into my head, knowing I would distort it! Also knowing that He would show me the rest when I was ready to receive it. It makes me feel like all of that wasn’t in vain. It was all God’s plan. All God’s plan for me to work my way through it, trudging through darkness in order to finally see the light. If it weren’t for the darkness, would the light have meant anything?