Psalm 23:2 ESV
Today’s photograph was taken years ago of a beautiful river in Tennessee.
Two of my children and their families had the opportunity to vacation together. We stayed in cabins at a resort, did some hiking, and mostly went fishing.
When we took the time to get away we all lived in different cities in different parts of the country. It was a wonderful vacation.
While I was raised with a fishing pole in my hands and I do still know a little about fishing, I had the opportunity to focus on family time together and taking photographs. I do that because my lifetime photograph collection tells a story about who “we” are and what we are about.
This particular photograph reminded me of the beauty God created, still waters and wonderful colors God gave us to enjoy.
Psalm 23:2 tells us, “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.”
I think the first time I heard the 23rd Psalm was when I was around five years old. I went to my first funeral with my family.
My Mother’s Grandfather passed away. I knew him and I remember visiting his farm in Randolph County, Missouri. He was born around 1875. Even though I wasn’t very old when he died, I remember him as being a quiet and kind man. I remember watching him interact with my Mother. Together, they laughed and they had a genuine connection.
Strangely enough what I remember about his funeral was that his great grandchildren had their own limousine that took us from the church to the gravesite. My brother was the oldest of the great-grandchildren in the car and he reminded us we were told to be quiet. However, we were not told we had to sit still and not “get excited”.
I was excited beyond measure which is probably why I still remember the event today.
The second thing I remember is hearing beautiful words from the Bible read at the graveside. It was so beautiful that sometime after I asked my dad about the still waters.
My dad read the 23rd Psalm to me.
Those weren’t the only times I heard that passage. As each of my great-grandparents passed away I was reminded of Psalm 23.
While you’d think I equate the 23 Psalm (or parts of it) with death and dying, I do not.
I equate it with LIFE.
Especially when I read Psalm 23:2, I think of lush green pastures in heaven.
I think of sitting beside still waters with Jesus and with other loved ones who have passed over before me.
See, I don’t think of death as an ending.
I see death as a glorious beginning.
I believe when we turn to God one time…just even one time, and our intent is to receive all that God has to offer we will eternally sit in green pastures beside still waters.
I know my statement may bring up questions about eternity.
We probably all wonder what it will be like.
Through the years I’ve learned that I need to trust God to take care of all the details.
I’m saying that I trust God to approach us and receive us when we turn.
I’m saying that while I do not have all the answers, I know God does have the answers.
While I’ve wrestled with questions about death and eternal life in Systematic Theology courses in Seminary, I walked away feeling more certain than ever about God’s ability to hold onto me and mine.
That includes you.
That’s why today I am telling you that God/Jesus loves you and wants to sit with you in green pastures.
God/Jesus wants to spend eternity with you sitting beside still waters.
When I was young I sat with…
When I lost my dad I sat with…
Today I sit with…
When I sit with I receive love and great peace.
I sit in green pastures and (in my mind) there are no biting bugs there because it’s a perfect place and because I hate biting bugs.
I sit in green pastures and I see the grass blowing in the wind in waves. I walk over the hill and I see still waters and I know God is there.
It’s perfect and peaceful and there is no sorrow.
I invite you to turn to God so you can sit in green pastures and enjoy still waters.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Turn and Receive
Lean into God/Jesus and receive love and peace.
In God, Deborah