Psalm 23: that famed psalm…
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
This beginning portion is about God’s provision. What a beautiful thing. God always provides. However, it has been drawn to my attention that the idea David penned is not what I have always imagined. When I think upon these lush verses, ripe with vivid imagery, I picture this:
God, the good shepherd leading us, His sheep, into these fields of paradise where we are fed with abundance.
Beloved, this picture is not the reality about which David spoke. These are the green pastures of Israel:
This dry, rocky ground of the desert is David’s “green pastures.” The only water on a regular basis comes from the dew of the morning; the rocks hold enough condensation to allow sparse patches of grass to grow. It becomes enough to sustain the sheep and goats. It becomes enough. God does not lead us into the rolling fields where we could never want for more; He leads us into the desert and provides enough in our moments of need. If we never had to rely upon God, we would never rely upon God. There would be no opportunity or need for faith. There would be no longer a need for God.
The desert is where God leads us, because it is there we learn to rely upon the Giver of Life. It is the desert where we begin to build a relationship of unwavering trust and love for the Shepherd. God will never give us everything we desire-but He will give us everything we need, just in the exact moment we need it. Put your faith into action and allow God to lead you; follow wherever He calls, and allow Him to show you how good He is. Amen.
Do you have any testimony about a time in your life when God took you into “the desert?” I would love to hear your story in the comments.