My husband and I took a day trip up to the lovely Meadows of Dan along the Blue Ridge Parkway this past fall. The preceding week had been “one of those weeks.” You know, the kind that beats you down both mentally and physically. I needed a break from the madness.
Looking out across the mountains and valleys filled with the colors of autumn brought a peace to my weariness. As we wandered along trails beside quiet brooks and creeks, breathing in the crisp air and watching gold and red leaves float down through the tree tops to settle at our feet, I let my mind wander too.
The 23rd Psalm kept playing in my thoughts throughout the day. God’s whisperings of grace reassuring me that in my weariness He was still with me.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (It’s true Lord. I tend to let my wants get the best of me sometimes. Yet, when I stop and assess what I have, it’s clear to see that you have provided everything I need. I have shelter. I have food. I have friends and family who love me. I have your mercy and forgiveness.)
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. (In John 4:14 you promise that whoever drinks the water you give will never thirst. The water you give will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.)
3 He refreshes my soul. (I can come to you when weary and burdened and find rest for my soul, for yours is a gentle and humble heart. Matthew 11:28-30)
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. (By your words I can see where I’m going. Your scripture gives guidance and teaches what I need to know for making life decisions; for caring for others; for sharing the gospel.)
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. (In Deuteronomy 31:6 you promise you go with me; you will never leave or forsake me.)
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (In 2 Corinthians 9:8 you tell me you are able to make every blessing of yours overflow, so that in every situation I will always have what I need for any good work.)
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, (God, you tell me in Romans 8:35-39 that nothing will ever be able to separate me from your love that is revealed in Christ Jesus.)
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (You promised that because I believe in your son, who died to take away my sins, I will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving rest through the beauty in the world you created and through the promises in your Holy Word. In our dark valleys of weariness, grief or despair, we may always find you there, shepherding us if we let you. In Jesus name I pray . Amen.