I hope this day finds you and your family well. I invite you to take a few moments with me to read and reflect upon today’s scripture selection — and to carry these thoughts with you into your day.
Today’s Scripture: Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd.
I lack nothing.
2 He lets me rest in grassy meadows;
he leads me to restful waters;
3 he keeps me [a] alive.
He guides me in proper paths
for the sake of his good name.
4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger because you are with me.
Your rod and your staff—
they protect me.
5 You set a table for me
right in front of my enemies.
You bathe my head in oil;
my cup is so full it spills over!
6 Yes, goodness and faithful love
will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live[b] in the Lord’s house
as long as I live.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want” says it is the Lord who provides for all our needs. The apostle Paul says in the fourth Chapter of Philippians, “My God will supply your every need.” (Philippians 4:19)
We’re on a journey and the Lord is our Shepherd on that journey, walking with us and leading us. No matter where the journey leads us, God is ahead of us. God has been there. God knows the way.
But as we go through the journey, it can get mighty hectic and busy. We can even get wrapped up in the journey itself.
And so, the Psalmist says, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.”
We need the time of stillness in our lives. We need the times of being made to lie down because life can get hectic, and we get so wrapped up in it we forget sometimes that which is most important.
God, our shepherd, wants us to have a rhythm in our lives between work and rest, striving and relaxing, doing and being. And like a Good Shepherd who leads the sheep to green pastures where they can lie down and they can rest, like the Good Shepherd who leads the sheep to still waters — not the rushing waters where their wool might fill with water and they might drown, — so the Shepherd stresses for us the need to be still.
The Psalmist says in Psalm 46, “Be still and know that I am God.” To take the time to take stock of our lives, to figure out where we’re headed, and to see where God would have us go.
I remember a few years ago a man told me about his experience with the three-day retreat called Walk to Emmaus and what it meant for his life. He said that he was going, going, going, going, going all the time, busy all the time, and that retreat forced him to be out of circulation for three days. The retreat takes you out of the norm in order to make you be still.
If you’ve been on the retreat, you know they take away your watch and they give you — at least on my walk — a piece of yarn that’s your “Emmaus watch.” I probably looked at that piece of yarn about 1,007 times during that retreat, trying to figure out what time it was.
For this man, the Walk to Emmaus was a time that changed his life. He made decisions on that retreat about the course of his life that made all the difference in the world. What was priority for him after that moment was different, and it took being still, lying down in the green pastures for a while, and nourishing his soul in that way for him to come to these decisions and realizations.
The Psalmist says, “He restores my soul.” “The Good Shepherd restores my soul.” Literally, that can be translated, “I come to life again” or “He gives new life to me.”
The Lord gives new life. The Lord gives new beginnings, brings us back to life. It’s part of the Easter message that when we feel dead, in fact, when we are dead — in our sins, in our grief, in our regret — the Lord restores our lives.
That is the Good News of our faith. On the journey there may be moments in our lives when we feel dead, but God restores our souls.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with these words and reflection I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and reflections I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster