“The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures…” Psalm 23:1-2
Have you ever stopped to imagine what those green pastures would look like?
I’ve always imagined an inviting scene…beautiful, rolling hills covered in green, plush grass. A gentle breeze would be blowing, and you could see the waves of grass swaying back and forth. It’s a serene, peaceful, and welcoming image.
That was the picture in my mind…until one day when I watched this video. The image in my head was completely challenged…and changed.
This place called “green pastures” in Jerusalem looks much more like a dessert wasteland than rolling meadows. It’s a hillside covered in rocks. How could that be “green pastures”?
This is not the image I had in mind.
The guide explained that interspersed among the rocky hillside were moisture filled pockets where grass would grow. I watched as a shepherd led the sheep across the hillside right to the specific places where they would be able to eat.
The sheep had to follow the shepherd if they were to find the grass.
I was reminded of the Israelites who were given manna from God. He gave them manna each and every day with the instruction to take only what they would need for the day. They weren’t supposed to store it up.
I thought about the scripture that says His mercies are new every morning. We are given mercy for the day we’re having…right now.
Our Father gives us what we need for the present moment.
The guide in the video says, “Green pastures are not everything you need for the rest of your life.”
Life doesn’t actually look like frolicking around in a green pasture without a care in the world for the rest of our lives.
Life looks a lot more like needing a Shepherd to lead us to the nourishment we need.
Life looks a lot more like learning to trust the heart of our Shepherd. When we’re following him across a rocky hillside we need to trust that He’s taking us where we need to be.
“Worry is dealing with tomorrow’s problem on today’s pasture.” When we look ahead and wonder just exactly where the Shepherd is taking us…when we strain to see in the distance and, to us, it looks like there’s not a patch of grass to be found…we must trust the Shepherd. (A lot easier said than done…I know.)
“In the dessert you learn that the Shepherd will get you what you need for right now. Ten minutes from now…you trust the shepherd.”
Our Father takes joy in our trust. Over and over in scripture we see people in positions of dependance, trust, and reliance on Him.
The Shepherd wants to be followed. He sets the pace, and He names the destination.
If we find ourselves saying, “This isn’t what I thought ‘green pastures’ meant…” Hang on, trust, and keep following the Shepherd.