“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.” Psalms 23:1-3 NRSV
Have you ever heard the expression bone-tired? It is that tiredness you feel that is beyond sleepy. You are drained physically, mentally, emotionally, and perhaps spiritually. You are exhausted from being exhausted! My guess is that we've all been there. Whether as a parent up all night with a newborn, caring for a sick loved one, or troubled by events in our lives. This is an unhealthy state of imbalance and medical studies have shown that over extended periods it can lead to major health problems.
Close your eyes for a moment and picture the bucolic setting in this psalm. There is a lush green meadow, the grass is so a deep soothing green and the texture is so soft and thick it springs under your feet. In the middle is a cold, clear, pond. It is so clear you can see the rocks on the bottom and your reflection on the surface. It is total tranquility. Perhaps the only sound is coming from a gentle breeze rustling the deep grass. You suddenly notice you are not alone, with you is the Good Shepherd, and he is encouraging you to lie down and find peace. As you follow his instructions you are filled with calm and rest because you know he is protecting you, there is nothing to fear. The shepherd desires to restore you physically, mentally, emotionally, but most of all spiritually -- your very soul. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.”
Good Shepherd, we come before you to give thanks for the love and compassion you show us every day. When we are bone-tired, we can turn to you and find the quiet, calm, and peace we need. Thank you for the green pastures and still waters where we can restore our souls. In your son Jesus, we pray. Amen.