Psalm 23:2 “He makes me lie down”
[I praise you, Lord Jesus, that you don’t ask my opinion about what situation I should be in; you, in your wisdom and goodness “make me lie down.” Praise you for your love and power in doing this, in arranging events, circumstances and pressures so I have to lie down where you know it is best.
Sometimes I could get up and walk away from this pasture (out of a relationship, off a job, away from a neighbor), but once you’ve made me lie down, such rebellion would only lead to loss and then you would again make me lie down in a similar situation until I have learned what is necessary. Praise you that you are firm, persistent and powerful, wisely bringing me to what I need.]
“in green pastures,”
[The place you choose for your sheep is one where we can graze and grow. There is spiritual food, there is provision, there is nourishment. Praise you for your wisdom, that you know what is exactly right for each sheep and that you are persistent in providing it at that right moment.
We can trust you no matter how brown the pasture may appear to us; in your greater and more comprehensive view, you know it is a profitable place, providing us with the opportunity for growth, equipping and maturity.
Our green pasture is where we am now, the situation where, along with beauty, comfort and the provision of our physical needs, there are pressures, stresses and challenges which push us onto our knees, into your Word, into your arms and into your lessons.
In these uncomfortable situations, you are giving us an understanding of our weakness, the opportunity to praise in distress, the chance to shed sin (complaining, gossip, selfishness and competition, to name a few) and to take up grace (such as forgiveness, kindness, service and love).
The harder it is, the greener the pasture. As it says in Romans 5:3,4, “…we also glory in our sufferings, BECAUSE WE KNOW that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
When we look at the larger view of what you are doing, we can gladly stay in the pasture you call green until you tell us to move on. Help us to lie down where you lead us that we may join you in what you are doing in us, through us and for us.