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Summary: This is about the "pause that refreshes"--the importance of taking time alone with God.

Antithesis

Just suppose in our hurried state of mind, we took the time to re-interpret Psalm 23 in order to make it fit our twenty first century lifestyle. It might come out something like this...

The clock is my dictator, I shall not rest.

It makes me lie down only when exhausted.

It leads me into deep depression.

It hounds my soul.

It leads me in circles of frenzy, for activities sake.

Even though I run frantically from task to task, I will never get it all done,

For my ideal is with me.

Deadlines and my need for approval, they drive me.

They demand performance from me, beyond the limits of my schedule.

They anoint my head with migraines,

My in-basket overflows.

Surely fatigue and time pressures shall follow me

All the days of my life.

And I will dwell in the bonds of frustration

Forever

Source unknown

Now, wouldn’t it be sad if we looked at out lives in that manner? How much better to leave the ancient shepherd-king’s thoughts alone. After all, was he not inspired by God to pen these words? The inspiration must have come from those moments in his youth when during the heat of the mid-day, he rested by a quiet stream. He took time to meditate on the father-like qualities of his God—protection, provision, presence. How much better to have a Shepherd than a clock as our leader? After all, the best shepherds were those who cared for their flock—knew each by name. David had but one Master and it wasn’t the clock! He had no need to read, “The Tyranny of Time.” The truth is, his sense of complete serenity and security captured in this great Psalm is the direct result of his relationship with his Lord. I suppose you could have a relationship with a clock, albeit, a stunted one. But can time bring one a feeling of love and tender care. I think not! David viewed himself as one of God’s sheep. He knew that rest was a necessary part of restoration.

Shepherds will often reach into a rushing stream and using rocks and mud, form quiet little pools for the sheep to drink from. Isn’t it true that there is something restful about quiet ponds and rivers and lakes.

Did you ever stop to consider that the Lord provides little pools of spiritual refreshment for us, even in the midst of our busy schedules? Some suggestions are in order:

❏ retreats

❏ Christian literature

❏ Christians concerts

❏ worship services

❏ private devotional times

❏ long walks (with God as your companion)

It is a fact that if sheep are not led to the good water supplies of clean, pure, water, they will end up drinking from polluted pot holes (false teaching). Jesus made it clear that the thirsty souls of men can be fully satisfied from drinking from His well because His water is pure, endless in it’s supply, life-giving, and rewarding.

Most people don’t know that sheep can go for months without drinking if there is a heavy dew each morning. By habit, they rise just before dawn and start to feed. There is no more beautiful picture of still waters than the silver droplets of dew on the grass. Since we are likened to sheep in the scriptures, how beautiful it must be for our heavenly Father to watch one of His sheep rise early in the morning and drink from the dew of God’s Word, which is fresh every morning. Jesus said, “If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

John Peterson wrote of this in his hymn, Springs of Living Water...

I thirsted in the barren land of sin and shame,

And nothing satisfying there I found;

But to the blessed cross of Christ one day I came,

Where springs of Living Water did abound.

Drinking from the springs of Living Water,

Happy now am I, My soul they satisfy

Drinking from the springs of Living Water,

O wonderful and bountiful supply.

How sweet the Living Water from the hills of God,

It makes me glad and happy all the way;

Now glory, grace and blessing mark the path I’ve trod

I’m shouting “Hallelujah” every day.

Drinking from the springs of Living Water,

Happy now am I, My soul they satisfy

Drinking from the springs of Living Water,

O wonderful and bountiful supply.

Nancy Spiegelberg, in the November issue of Decision magazine, wrote these words: Lord, I crawled across the barrenness to You with my empty cup, uncertain but asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known You better I would have come running with a bucket.

Some try to quench their thirst by drinking from the wells of the world only to turn away unsatisfied. Jeremiah wrote of this centuries ago. “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. What are these “wells of the world?” Could they not include fame, fortune, career, pleasure, alcohol, drugs, to name but a few?

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