That would be easy for David to say, wouldn’t it? Who wouldn’t be able to claim the Lord as his shepherd after such a great experience? Who wouldn’t rejoice in the One who made him lie down in such green and peaceful pastures?
Well, in actuality it isn’t as easy as you might initially think because it is impossible to rest anywhere until your soul has first been restored. A soft, green pasture would be no different from a rocky, dusty desert with an unrestored soul.
You see, often we are tempted to think that rest would come easier in prosperity than it would in adversity, but that simply is not true. The restlessness of an unrestored soul spills over into every area of our life. Prosperity isn’t found in the green pasture and adversity isn’t found in a desert – they are both found within the human soul.
A joyful heart makes everything else joyful. Everything around it will be green and soft and pure and pleasant. However, a restless heart makes everything around it restless. In fact, for the restless heart even a calm, peaceful perimeter does nothing more than make the restless heart even more restless.
In spite of what we may be tempted to believe, we can not free ourselves by changing our situation; our situation can only be changed by being freed from ourselves. The sweet and the bitter are both found within us. We take them with us wherever we go. And what we take with us is what we will find around us.
So, if you would have green pastures and still waters, if you would find quiet and rest then your soul must first be restored. You must be at rest before you can actually find rest. You must first be filled before you can enjoy the fullness of His creation.
There is something completely powerful and wonderful about the rest that restoration brings. For, when we are at rest – real rest – then we will have the power to possess and enjoy all that His creation has to offer. The wind will be our courier. The stars will be our lamp. The green grass our pillow. Nothing will stop us from finding joy in every sorrow. No matter how the storm rages around us, we will sleep in perfect peace within the tossed ship. We will enjoy a banquet in front of our enemies without any worry. The calm of His peace and presence will be evident on our very faces. We will see it in the mirror of His creation and when we look there His calm will reflect back on us. That is when we will know that His goodness and mercy will surely follow us all the days of our lives and we will dwell in the house of our Lord forever.