We are on the road! It's a travel week for us. We left Thunder Bay, Ontario, and are heading west to Banff, Alberta. So this will be a quick one before we start our drive for the day.
This morning, like most mornings, Tucker was ready to get up before we were; needing to relieve himself and ready to play! We stayed in a Walmart parking lot, so I couldn’t just roll out of bed and let him out. So I got up, made myself somewhat presentable for 7 am and we headed out the door to find some green grass. Expecting a cold blast as I walked out the door and anticipating a quick frigid task, I was pleasantly surprised with warmer temperatures than we've had for the last few days and not only that but a beautiful sunrise! There was what looked like a little field of green grass behind the RV so we headed in that direction. As I walked past the bushes, the little patch opened up into a huge golf course. This seemed like a recipe for a great long morning walk. Initially, it was more for Tucker than I, as I wanted him to get as much energy out as possible before we hit the road again, but God had other plans. As the glow of the sunrise painted the sky and the warmth of the sun began to touch my face, God was beckoning me “Walk with me” What an invitation! Absolutely, I thought!
It was then I remembered the assignment for this week which is part of the Experiencing God Study we are currently doing with a group of friends. What a cool thing! Travel days/weeks have a different routine and rhythm than most, but God provided the time, place, and space to be with Him. I was grateful for the reminder and wrestled through the assignment that had been given. We walked and talked. I expressed my gratitude for who He is and all He has done and given to me; His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and abundant provision.
By this time I was at the end of the golf course and ready to turn back, but Tucker had other plans! He took off chasing some birds through a field. As I walked in that direction, around a corner, and through a wooded area, the rest of the golf course opened up. This part was so different from the rest. The rest had been flat, straight without a lot of views. But this part was wide, and expansive, with hills, valleys, streams with bridges, a little lake, and pathways. It beckoned to be explored!
As I walked down one of the really wide fairways with steep hills on either side and a stream winding its way down at the end, the words; green pastures and still waters came to mind. I had memorized Psalm 23 in the past but hadn't said it in a while, so it didn't flow smoothly. There were a few parts I kept getting stuck on, so I opened up my YouVersion Bible app and found Psalm 23, and read it aloud. Repeating the parts that I was rusty on, I was able to then recite the whole thing by memory. I put the app away and recited it over and over as I walked.
The words started to sink in. studies I have done on this particular psalm and the lessons learned while studying surfaced in my mind. It reminded me of how rich and deep with meaning this and so many other scriptures really are. It made me really appreciative of those who have walked alongside me in my faith journey, those who have dove into bible studies with me, who have helped me wrestle through scriptures, and who have guided me to resources that provide context to understanding scripture better. Overwhelming gratitude swelled over me for the life I have and who I have been transformed to be because of my relationship with Christ and His word.
I remember a time when I felt intimidated by the bible. I would pick it up, and read parts of it and what I was reading wouldn’t make sense. I would put it down feeling frustrated. If this was God’s word, why was it so complicated to understand?, I thought. I had a lot to learn! Again I am so grateful for the people that have taken the time to teach me. If you are reading this and feel the same way about the bible and reading God’s word, please reach out! I would love to help you.
Maybe, you are reading this and you have also had the blessing of learning how to read scripture and understand it, but maybe your relationship with God feels flat or like it's reached a plateau. Read through Psalm 23.
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me by still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in the path of the righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
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 goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23 (ESV)
It's easy to read it and think, “yeah I have read that a lot”, or “I have heard sermons preached on it” or “done studies on that”, but how are you doing at living it out?
Have you resisted lying down in the green pastures God has provided for you?
Have you allowed Him to lead you to the still waters? Allowed Him to lead you down paths of righteousness or have you been walking down your own paths? How’s your soul doing?
These are the self-check questions I asked myself this morning and had a conversation about how I am doing in these areas.
Maybe you are walking through a valley right now. Are you afraid, worried, or feeling alone? Who are you putting your trust in?
Reading these words “You have prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” what does that actually mean? Maybe God is calling you to dig into scripture. Who wrote this Psalm or another part of scripture you are wrestling with? Why did they write it? What was the context? Do you know what the references mean? Maybe this is the week you start a bible study or read a book that helps you dig into understanding scripture better. For this particular Psalm, I study I have done recently and really enjoyed is Matt Chandler’s study on Psalm 23 https://www.rightnowmedia.org/promo/psalm23 or the book Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table by Louie Giglio
My prayer for you this week is that a whole new world opens up to you as you spend time waking with the Lord this week and that you have a lot of “ah ha” moments as you dig into His word.
May the rich, deep treasures of scripture become revealed as you seek resources to understand them better, reflect on them, walk them out, wrestle with them and allow them to transform your life.
So what happened with Tucker this whole time I was waking? Here is the aftermath! Haha! He was so happy to be running free and feeling the wind in his ears!
I feel a spray-down is in his near future though! He isn't sitting in the truck in that condition! LOL!