Moments of Refreshing in the Sheepfold
One of the most popular passages of scripture is the Twenty-Third Psalm. It is reassuring to picture the Lord as our Shepherd, taking care of us, providing for us, and protecting us.
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
Psalm 23:1-6 (NKJV)
As I meditate on this psalm, I often picture myself lying down in a peaceful meadow, near a clear brook of clean, refreshing water. My favorite part of this passage is in verse 3: He restores my soul. There were instances on the job when I was in the midst of high-stress circumstances and I would shut myself away for a couple minutes, take a break and go to my happy place- my Psalm 23 place. In those brief moments, I allowed the Shepherd of my heart to refresh me and give me rest.
Our souls (our minds, wills and emotions) need to be refreshed. This refreshing comes from time spent in the Good Shepherd's presence. We need to make time daily to commune with Him. In addition, at times when it is especially needful, break away from the craziness around you for a few minutes to restore your soul. It may mean taking a moment to seek Him in your car or even in the stall of a public restroom. He's with you always so the place is not as important as simply taking a quick moment to seek His face. It is okay to hit the pause button during the day to refresh with Jesus.
Matthew 11:28 reinforces this, especially in the Amplified Bible Classic Edition (AMPC):
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
Heavy-laden and overburdened. This is an apt description of so many people; even many believers. The remedy is simple, go to the sheepfold and allow the Shepherd to ease and relieve and refresh your soul. A few minutes with the Shepherd can do amazing things for your mental and emotional outlook, and will equip you for the challenges ahead.