"He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake." Psalm 23:3 ESV
In my late teens and early twenties, I did a fair amount of hiking. My friend Mike Shettleroe and I would head load up his old VW Beetle with our packs and head out to the Hoosier National Forest. There were three things that we never went without; water, a compass, and a trail map. On one particular trip, we had been out for a couple of hours when we came across a fallen tree. After going off-trail to get around the obstacle, we could not find the other side trail. A couple of false starts later, we ended up backtracking up that path to pick up another route. On that hot and humid August day in Indiana, we were thankful we had brought plenty of water.
In Psalm 23:3, God promises he will refresh our soul and keep us on the right path. We sometimes come across fallen trees. We may try to go around the obstacle and find the right way ourselves. Sometimes we may discover the trail leads us off in the wrong direction taking us miles from our destination, or we may come to a dead end. God has left us his trail map in the Bible. The map by itself is good, but we need to know where we are and what direction we are headed. The Holy Spirit acts as our compass and guide getting us headed back in the right direction.
As Mike and I found that extra unplanned time spent in our searching made us thirsty. Even stream water treated with iodine tablets tasted good. God provides our souls with pure, sweet water through prayer and meditation instead of the metallic tasting substitute the world has to offer. God offers this refreshment, restoring our souls, so we can keep us going on our journey.
Gracious God, we are so thankful for watching over us and providing for us. You equip us with everything we need for our journey; our water, map, and compass. Help us this day to use those gifts to glorify you. In Jesus’, name we pray. Amen.