Beside the Still Waters

I have a very long story that would explain why and how my daughter is such a miracle to me and my family, but I think I’ll save it for another day. Suffice it to say that my pregnancy was very long and full of worry on my part. And that since she was born just over a month ago, I have been living each day between joy at every single minute and preparation for what I fear may happen.

Now, this isn’t just the run-of-the-mill fear. Not just a minute or two of fretting. Nope. This special brand happens to include hours of freaking out over everything…like I did last night. Despite my sleep deprivation.

I already suspected that I have an anxiety disorder. After yesterday, with all of its deep-pitted fear, I’m fairly certain.

But what finally subdued my thoughts, what finally started to ebb away the gripping fear, was the most common verses known to man, except perhaps John 3:16.

I have overlooked Psalm 23 for ages, completely ignoring the meaning behind those verses, what gives them such power. Then again, I am a sheep, dumb and deaf to the words of the Shepherd.

And, honestly, it was only two verses that really caught my attention.
“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.”

He doesn’t cause me to eat in green pastures, but to lie down. To rest. In my Bible, it explains that sheep are disturbed by any noises, any commotion (sort of like my daughter before she enters that deep, deep sleep). So for a sheep (a whole flock!) to lie down means that they feel totally, completely secure. That they have no cares or worries in the world. Not at all like I was last night

Then, He leads me beside still waters. Again, my Bible points out that sheep are afraid of rushing waters. They can only rest beside the still waters. (Oddly enough, the memory of a bubbling brook helped me drift off to sleep last night.)

Still waters. Green pastures. Peace. As He restores my soul.

Oh, my soul needed restoring last night. My soul aches from carrying so much worry, so much stress. The dumb sheep strikes again. See, the sheep don’t have to figure out their paths. No, the Shepherd “leads [them] in the paths of righteousness.” And for almost a year now, my husband and I have been in the path of the Shepherd but we’ve been trying to figure out where this path is taking us. We’ve been trying to do things our way with our logic, when the Shepherd already knows our way. And He knows why He is taking us down this path: “for His name’s sake.”

His name’s sake. His glory, His honor, His purpose. To righteous paths with righteous destinations so that He can be glorified. So that He can be honored.

Yes, caring for and nurturing my daughter did not bring this fear to me, but it did bring it to the surface. My ignorance, my similarity to the sheep.

I am dumb. I am easily spooked and frightened. But. God isn’t finished with me. He is leading me in the paths of righteousness. And when I remember that I can trust in Him and not my own “logic,” then I can truly rest beside the still waters and in the green pastures.

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