"He lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads me beside the quiet streams. He gives me new strength." Psalm 23:2-3 LB
He lets me rest.
He grants permission. For me to be free from strain.
My Good Shepherd wants me to catch my breath. His desire is for my renewal.
He accomplishes that in two ways.
First, He has me relax in meadow grass. I have seen pastures in the spring. They are lush and green with bursting life. They are inviting, nearly making me drool with longing. I want to be in them, surrounded by such abundance.
My God, He knows I won't rest if I am uncomfortable. The brittle, dry grass of summer scratches and pokes. So He only leads me, and allows me to repose in, the comfort of lush meadows. The inviting place.
Secondly, He directs me to the quiet streams. Water that is rushing and frothing is not conducive to long drinks to satisfy my thirst. It would be too dangerous and too daunting.
My Shepherd wants to relieve or avoid fatigue so He makes it easy for me. He turns me towards the calm and gurgling brook. Again, to a place that draws me. Another inviting place. Somewhere that I can safely drink my fill to be restored.
I am reminded of sitting on the front porch, sipping lemonade as I enjoyed the view, the break from all the demands upon me. I could sit and rock allowing my thoughts to drift and wander, to feast upon the quiet and beauty around me. It was always with reluctance that I left that porch.
I think that is what my Lord had in mind.
To grant me permission to come to such an inviting place. But also to open my eyes to the privilege of being there. He wants me to feast on the quiet, the satisfying. To reestablish and revive tranquility, peace. His purpose is to give me new strength, to restore my soul. And He wants me to be reluctant to go.
He lets me. Rest.
It is a privilege to have such permission. To relax.