He makes me lie down (Psalm 23:2 NRSV)

“He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;” (NRSV)

Now, I could explain in detail about sheep and why the shepherd makes them lie down, but it has to do with digestion.  The shepherd leads the sheep beside still waters because the sheep will not drink from swiftly moving water. It is afraid of it. The sheep are poor swimmers, and the sheep’s wool would cause it to drown.

This passage is a reminder that we must take time to rest and get away from the hurriedness of our lives. The idea is similar to the phrase “Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10 (NRSV). Just like the shepherd knows the sheep’s limitations, Jesus the Good Shepherd knows our limitations and our weaknesses. He doesn’t condemn us for that. God never demands of us more than our strength and abilities can handle. Jesus understands the loads on our shoulders and where the places of nourishment and refreshment are for us. Let’s trust Him to lead us to those, especially in this time of Lent.

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams