The second verse of Psalm 23 starts off with an interesting note. Ever since I was young, I have always focused on this part of the 23rd Psalm which promises peaceful abundance. Green pastures sound so beautiful. I’ve always pictured this as a green meadow with a fence along the hillside and a shady tree.
It never dawned on me that God "makes me lie down” here. Why in the world would God have to make me stay in a green pasture? If I were a sheep, isn't that what I would be looking for? Wouldn't I just stay there on my own?
Many years of life have taught me that this is not always the case. How many times, over my lifetime, have I left the green pasture that God had provided me with, for something that I thought was better? Time after time I have found myself walking away from my green pasture only to find out that I had left the very thing I needed the most.
God knows us best and He knows what is good for us, even though we don't always know it ourselves. We leave our green pastures because we don't know what a green pasture is supposed to look like. We can be standing right in the middle of it and not realize it.
Why is it that everything else looks so good to us when what we really need is right in front of our eyes? We have to remember this key element of Christianity: we live for Him, not for us. We are here for His glory, not ours.
Our green pasture may not be what we would have chosen because we were looking for what WE want. That’s not always what God wants.
God knows what is best for us. A green pasture, for a man or woman of God, is any place where God can use us for His glory. That place is seldom found doing what we want, where we want and how we want. It’s found by doing what God wants.
A green pasture can look a lot like a homeless shelter or a hospital room or even a prison if that’s where God needs me at the time. I have learned to stop looking for my green pasture. I’ll go where God’s pasture is. The grass is always greener there.
"God will place us where we will best bring Him glory, and we are no judge at all of where that might be." -Oswald Chamber