We are a lot like sheep. Thankfully, we have a Good Shepherd.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Sheep are nervous, fearful animals that fight rest. They are exhausted by pests like flies, they can't endure social tension and they won't go to sleep until they have been fed. As I examine my own life, I find that I am not very different. The culture around us distracts us and a life filled with stress and exhaustion is normal.
In this Psalm, King David is showing us that God is the best source of rest. If we choose to be led by Him, He can protect us and lead us to the best food for our souls. Jesus promises us rest, too.
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
God's Word is a great place for us to rest. Try this practice, which some of the earliest Christians used, while reading the Bible when you need restoration for your soul:
Step 1: Read -listen for something
Step 2: Reflect -how is my life touched by this word?
Step 3: Respond -what is my response to you, God?
Step 4: Rest -abandon yourself to the love of God