But why don't we? And more important, how can we begin to live in the truth that the psalmist sang about?
In my own experience—in spite of a lifetime in church, four decades of studying the Bible, and years of teaching and preaching—I've found that the truths I know don't always seem to be true. And I know I'm not the only one who's felt this: countless friends, family, and others have shared similar experiences. And the pages of the Bible--God's Word—are riddled with similar questions and struggles. I'm in good company.
As I've been camping out with David, the confident shepherd-turned-troubled king who penned the twenty-third Psalm, I've begun to learn that living a life without lack begins with a trusting awareness of God's presence. "... for you are with me," float the words over the ripple of the quiet waters. "Your rod [of protection] and staff [of guidance], they comfort me."
So how do we grow in our awareness of God's presence?
David's trust in God's presence grew over long days and nights in the fields with his sheep. He knew what it was to make the flocks "lie down in green pastures;" he knew the security they would feel when he led them by "quiet waters." In those safe and secure places, the sheep rested, knowing the presence, protection, and provision of their shepherd.
One of God's greatest and most enduring promises is the promise of rest. He promises it for this life; he expects us to participate in it (spend some time learning about sabbath); and he promises it as part of the reward of eternity.
Begin to rest in God’s loving presence;
rest in his goodness, protection, provision.