Busy. That’s a four-letter word that has become an integral part of my life. There is always something to do and some place to go. In fact, most days my “To-Do” list runs several pages and no sooner than I have checked something off, I have to add something to it. More to do. More to say. More places to go. This means that handling stress is a daily part of my reality. I am constantly busy and the busier I am, the busier I become.
Perhaps this is why recently I was halted in my tracks when I heard someone reading the 23rd Psalm. It is probably the most famous of the Psalms in the Bible and the most quoted. If we are honest, we’d have to admit that it is filled with gems that motivate and remind us of how good the Lord is. The Psalmist lets us know that we are taken care of, protected and kept from harm. In fact, the thing that looks like it will kill us (the valley of the shadow of death) is just a mere mirage that we will walk through but it will not overtake us. We don’t have to fear. We don’t have to worry. We can rest and be assured that we are covered through the promises given to us in this Psalm.
What has me captivated as I revisit this Psalm at the altar today, is that the Lord leads us “beside still waters.” The stillness of the waters calm me and keep me in perfect peace. Even more importantly, is the fact that my soul is restored. In the midst of negotiating busyness and to be honest sometimes chaos, conflict and confusion; I am reassured that there is a peace and a calm afforded to me as a child of God. In the midst of all that would cause upheaval in my life, the Lord will lead me and restore me–from the inside out.
So, I celebrate and thank God for the still waters and for my soul being restored–that busyness will not consume me and my troubles will not overtake me. Surely, goodness and mercy are following me. I am being kept, sheltered and taken care of, both day and night.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.