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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday School - Psalm 23 Lesson 3

“He makes me lie down in green pastures” (Psalm 23:2a)

I want to roll around in a muddy field. I think that it would be fun to play like a kid, get covered in mud, and not care. Maybe I’ll get my chance when I’m a mother. With a kid I could play it off like, “Hey, just trying to relate to the child.” Without a kid, I might be committed.

Doesn’t that look like fun?

I guess “green pastures” are a’ight too. Soft and pretty. And undoubtedly filled with bugs. Consequently, I have no interest in playing in a green field. No ma’am. Wouldn’t want a Horton Finds a Who thing going on.

Sheep, on the other hand, are quite fond of a green pasture.

This picture reminds me, in an opposite kind of way, of our yard. When we moved into our house, the yard was brown and filled with weeds. Bushes were overgrown or stunted. The flowerbeds were filled with rocks. So my darling husband got to work. He went to Lowe’s and bought all manner of lawn equipment. Weed killer, fertilizer, mowing, edging, and a good soaking provided a major improvement.

But there was more. One Saturday morning, while I was sleeping the sleep of angels, Garrett headed over to Home Depot (twice before I ever woke up!) and bought bricks, mulch, and more fertilizer. Then came the physical labor - pulling out bushes, digging up rocks, laying down fertilizer and mulch, and placing bricks.

Our front yard started out like this.

And ended up like this.

And it’s still not finished.

But there’s only so much a body can do in a day. Garrett's back reminded him for days that he’d poured himself into the yard project. But it was totally worth it for the pride he felt in a job well done. Years from now when our future children enjoy the yard, they will have no idea of the work that went into making it beautiful.

My favorite Psalm 23 book of all time reminds me of an important fact: green pastures don’t happen by accident in Palestine (where this psalm was written). Shepherds cleared fields and planted tasty sheep treats in order to provide nourishment for their flocks. Shepherds were active, not passive, in the care of their sheep.

In the same way, God is at work around us all the time. He is not like Dr. House –enjoying a soap opera while ignoring the tragedy filling the building. Our lives are much more than a soap opera to our Creator. Last weekend I wrote about how He prepared me to enjoy the man He had for me as my husband. But I wonder how else he’s worked in my life. How many times has He protected me from a car accident? Or from a negative friendship? Or provided an encouraging friend at the moment that I needed it? Things that some might ascribe to coincidence or chance but that we can ascribe to a God that is active in our lives.


  • How do you work for the welfare of those that you are responsible for (families, employees, pets) in ways that they don’t see or understand?

  • They say hindsight is 20-20. Looking back at your life, can you recognize how God was at work around you, even when you didn’t see it? What’s an example?