“The Lord is my shepherd…He restores my soul.”
We all get tired. Even in “well-doing” we can simply grow weary. The weariness usually leads to frustration, and then, if you’re not careful, you can start to “wander off.” We begin to think that God has forgotten about us, that he has left us to ourselves and moved on. All the things we thought he spoke to us remain unfulfilled, and bitterness threatens to corrupt our hearts and imagination. We say to ourselves, “Perhaps it would be better if I just went…” I don’t know about you, but I have just “went…” But He brought me back!!
Really, that’s what “He restores my soul” means: He brings me back . When he wrote Psalm 23, David was thinking of the Lord as his shepherd ,something David himself knew a lot about as he too had been a shepherd. He thought of the way a good shepherd cares for his flock. He reflected on the way that sheep are prone to stray and get themselves “out of wack.” And he knew that he himself could be like one of those sheep. But he had also learned that the Lord was the ultimate shepherd, ready, willing, and able to come to the rescue of one of his own.
Listen, God does not hate you. You have not taken him by surprise, nor freaked him out by your behavior. He is intimately acquainted with you and knows you better than you know yourself. Even now, his goodness and mercy are chasing you down!! He longs to pour the fresh oil of his precious Spirit all over your life. Don’t fall victim to the guilt and shame that would keep you separated from the Shepherd and Lover of your soul. You don’t have to be afraid anymore. He has given his life for you, how will he not now give you all things? He brings you back!!
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.