Resting Devotion 4: The Shepherd

This is the fourth in a 14-week devotion series on the theme of resting, originally written for the Bible Society Australia. Join us as we visit texts that remind us of God’s character. As we rest in the truths of who he is, what he has done, what he promises to continue to provide, and the certainty of our hope, we will find rest and strength for our souls.

The Lord is my shepherd…He restores my soul.

Psalm 23:3

Events in life can knock the stuffing out of us. Our inner being gets worn down and we lose our zest for life, a bit like an orange that’s been juiced or eaten, leaving a discarded skin. These words, ‘He restores my soul’ are a wonderful reminder that the Lord, the Great Shepherd, is the one who revives and sustains us.

In Psalm 23, David uses the image of a shepherd caring for his sheep to describe the relationship he has with God. The shepherd is everything to his sheep – their guide, provider, and protector.

I have been thinking about how my Shepherd restores my soul when I am downcast and crushed in spirit. In recent years there have been many occasions when I’ve felt drained and empty like dried up orange skin. Sometimes that has arisen from personal challenges; other times from seeing family and friends face tragedy and hardship. While heartache and grief may have lingered, God’s word has provided refreshment time after time.

When your spirit feels crushed, resting in the truths of God’s word has the power to nourish and restore your soul. Turn to the words in Psalm 23 and remind yourself that in Jesus we have a shepherd who will lead us beside still waters. He is with us even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death; his rod and staff will comfort and protect us. Remember that one day, we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

My Lord, thank you that you are my Good Shepherd. Thank you that you walk with me and that when my spirit is crushed and I am downcast, you are the restorer of my soul. Please restore my soul. Help me to remember that you laid down your life for me and that one day, I shall dwell in your house forever. Amen.

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