The Lord is my shepherd. Psalm 23:1
In the daytime, sheep are put out to pasture. They graze, nap in the sun, even play. At nighttime, they go back into the sheepfold to sleep in safety. Day after day, and night after night, their way of life is unchanged. Their familiar routine offers security, abundance, and relationship.
The rhythm of a Christian’s life, the person who knows Jesus, should also be one of resting, grazing, and working.
- When threatened by wild animals, I run back to my shepherd, and to the safety of the fold. My heart may be beating wildly but nothing can hurt me outside of His will if I stick close to Him. Restorative rest is a promise He gives me.
- When following the Shepherd, I enjoy abundant spiritual food. The Word of God is a pasture, always green. It must surely resemble the lush green landscapes of New Zealand, the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen. Take a back country road and what you see around every turn is another pasture of sheep. Each view is a postcard. The food Jesus provides for me, meditatively and instructively, is the likings of the finest pastures.
- When I have eaten sufficiently, work awaits. The work is not abusive. It is not laden with high expectations without the foundation of proper nourishment and proper equipping. The shepherd has given me both. He has fed me, He has tutored me, and He has trained me. My work is the culmination of His promise. “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Work in the context of a relationship is the key to a joyous calling.
When this rhythm exists, the rest of the Psalm makes sense.
Your pastures are so green and satisfying, Jesus. I have rested, I have eaten, and now I will work. In Jesus name, Amen