Before moving on in our Green Pastures discussion: Other pages are still under construction, but you can check out the About Me page to learn more about recent changes here.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Let’s take our time in green pastures
This is a passage well worth taking time over. The picture given is one of peacefulness, therefore, I’ll try to keep this study peaceful, too. No rushing here.
We’ll start with a glimpse at it’s Verse 1 introduction: “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. “David, who knows shepherding better than many, starts with the main topic: The Lord as his shepherd. Shepherds are protectors. A good shepherd will guide his sheep to good places where they can eat well. We are also told the Lord gives him everything he needs in this world.
Now David begins to explain what he means by ‘lacking nothing’ in verse two: “He makes me lie down in green pastures…” We know this isn’t the end of it, but it is all we will cover today. And so, let’s begin.
Where are Green Pastures on Mondays?
It’s MONday and it’s not the day we generally call, ‘Funday’, is it? We jump out of bed, run for the shower, spin in circles and out the door…or to the hamper for dirty clothes…or to that diaper that needs changing. We adjust our speed from week-end to week-day, plowing through like an angry bull after a red cape. Monday’s are all about, ‘Get ‘er done! We’re catching up or starting all over. Today, yesterday’s rest is a thing of the past and all but forgotten. We feel lucky to make it through the day sane, and actually many of us consider it to be a miracle to make it through without yelling at someone we love. It’s Monday and it’s about as far removed from pastures and waters as North is from South.
What the world needs now is green, sweet green!
You know what we need, right? Yes, we’ll look at those Green Pastures. But first, let’s break it down. We’ll start with… green! I learned long ago that green is a calming color, but realized as preparing for this post that I don’t know where I learned it, so should do some research. I want to know more about these pastures, for sure, but I want to know that what I know holds water. Why was green important enough to use in this Scripture description…why not just say, ‘pastures’?
My search revealed many positive statements about the color green; however, some statements were disappointingly negative. Yet, everything spoke of the color green as a peaceful or calming color. More than one reference called green, ‘refreshing’ and at least one used the word, ‘restoring’ to describe green. This is a term that pops up again in the passage, itself!
Reference was given, in some accounts, to the ‘Green Room’ created for guests on television shows. This is where they go to ‘wait their turn’. The room is painted green to help guests calm down if they’re feeling nervous. Green is also used in other places that make us nervous, like doctors’ and dentists’ offices. Isn’t it delightful that our God created our brains to respond this way upon seeing green? Have you ever looked up through the leaves of a tree in the spring or summer and taken in all that green, glorious green? How did it make you feel? I know green in the outdoor world makes me feel joyous and peaceful. I am a died-in-the-wool green lover!
Green pasture vs. green pastures…
Let’s move on past green, although I dislike doing so. Look at the second part of the phrase: ‘pastures’. What do you notice? It occurs to me that this is written in the plural, not the singular. That seems significant. One green pasture would be delightful, but more than one? In my mind’s eye, I see green pastures that roll endlessly over hills – as far as I can see. Truthfully, I think God had it written that way on purpose. It’s an illustration of his abundance towards us. His endless thoughts and love roll on like seas of grass rippling in the breezes. The grass this fearfully and wonderfully brain creates is organic and bug-free, with no form of creeping, crawling critters in it. I would lay down, roll around and press my face into grass such as this! Yes, I would watch the clouds roll by, notice the coolness of the carpet beneath me, and surely, take a nap.
Breathe and see that the Lord is good…
Let’s close here today. It’s Monday, after all and how wonderful to sip this Bone Broth slowly as we pause for refreshment. Whatever time of day it is when you read this, I suggest that you take a few minutes to arrange…or rearrange…your thinking. This is how:
Start with Deep Breathing. I spoke of this HERE, in this post. It’s easy.
Add visualization. It’s easy, it’s not ‘hoo-doo’ and it’s effective! Trust me for just a few minutes and shut your eyes. Well, no, don’t shut your eyes! Read this first, then shut your eyes, and ‘see, smell, hear and feel’ the following…
First, think green. Remember, it’s a calming color. If thinking about green isn’t easy, find something in a green shade you really like (Crayola, anyone?) and look at that. Now, think rolling hills covered with green grass. You are barefoot and the grass is damp with dew (per last Saturday’s post). The sun is shining brightly and the cool grass soothes your soles. There is a patch just ahead that grows shorter, so it’s dry. A small tree grows from it’s midst and offers shade.
You walk to the tree and the grassy ground below your feet feels so soft, you sink down into it. Staying here forever would be easy and you roll to your back to look up, knowing you’re safe because the unseen Shepherd is standing watch. The green leaves of the tree dance playfully in the whispering breeze. Their color mixes with the sun and the spring-green brings you inexplicable joy. The little tree’s branches hold an uncanny amount of small birds and their soft singing is sweet to your ears.
Then, just before you trust yourself entirely to sleep, you whisper back to the Master of breezes, “Thank you”. Your Father hears and smiles as he brushes that wisp of hair away from your eyes with his breath.
Good-Monday, little girl. I’ll meet you again tomorrow, beside the still waters. <3