Psalm 23:2 – He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.
When joints or muscles ache from too much weekend exercise, I'm fairly quick to realize that my body's trying to tell me something and encourage healing along with the appropriate dose of Ibuprophen, an ice pack or heating pad, rest, and a resolution to be more regular and less sporadic with physical activity.
But too often, I overlook my spiritual aching and must be made to "lie down in green pastures" with the advent of a life crisis of some sort. I must be led to those elusive still waters so difficult to find, or find time for, on my own. Foolish, easily frightened sheep will not drink from the rushing water of a river — only still quiet waters created by the shepherd's placement of a wall of rocks will refresh them. Our spirits, too, need such "stillness" from life-giving water as our good Shepherd understands.
The psalmists often identified our spiritual aching as a thirst: "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God" (Psalm 42:2), "For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things" (Psalm 107:9). "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." (Psalm 63:1).
Through Jesus' encounter with the woman at the well, we learn of the one and only way to quench such a thirst: "Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14)
Prayer: Shepherd me, O Lord, beyond my wants, beyond my busy-ness to the life-giving water that is You. Amen.