Source: Grosse Pointe News Online

Green pastures, still water
Pastor's Corner

September 20, 2012

In Psalm 23:2 we read the Lord, our Shepherd, “makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters.”

In this verse, we see God’s gracious and comprehensive care for us. These two images describe the way God cares for us and provides for our needs. Sheep need green pastures to eat and water to drink. This is a wonderful reminder God cares for our most basic needs.

We see this truth as Jesus is teaching on the hillside and stops to provide food for the crowd in the feeding of the 5,000. (Matthew 14:13-21). We see this as Jesus reminds the disciples “do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ … and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” (Matthew 6:31-32).

We are reminded of God’s care for our basic needs as Jesus teaches us to prayer for “our daily bread.” The Good Shepherd is actively providing for our daily needs.

In addition to this incredible provision there is a great sense of peace and tranquility. The image is not lying down in a briar patch with an occasional tuft of grass or attempting to drink from a raging river. The image is resting in green pastures knowing there is enough and drinking from still waters. God not only provides daily provision, but peace and rest in His care.

In the warmth of this verse we are prone to miss the way God does this. God “makes” and “leads” us to this pasture of peace and provision. But to be led we need to not only be compliant in following, we also need to trust that where God is taking us will be all right. At times the way to the pasture can be bumpy and there is always a temptation to break away seeking our own provisions and a lesser peace.

May we continue to “taste and see that the Lord is good” and follow Him to green pastures, still water, incredible provision and peace.

Rev. Jim Rizer is senior pastor at Grosse Pointe Woods Presbyterian Church.