Beside Peaceful Waters

1 The Lord is my shepherd. I am never in need.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside peaceful waters.
3 He renews my soul. He guides me along the
paths of righteousness for the sake of his name.
4 Even though I walk through the dark valley of death,
because you are with me, I fear no harm.
Your rod and your staff give me courage.
5 You prepare a banquet for me while my enemies watch.
You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.
6 Certainly, goodness and mercy will stay close to me all the days of my life,
and I will remain in the Lord’s house for days without end. Psalm 23 (GW)

My mom would have celebrated her eighty-sixth birthday this month. It’s been two and a half years since she went home to the Lord and I still miss her every day.

She loved the 23rd Psalm. She taught me to love its precious words too. Over her lifetime, like all moms, she occasionally laid her head down on her pillow with anxious thoughts. Her life was not easy. She suffered health problems like – high blood pressure, diabetes, breast cancer, and irregular heart beats. She mourned the passing of – parents, siblings, friends, a child born prematurely, and a grandchild.

Like all moms, her children filled her thoughts from the moment she knew they had been conceived. That’s not a complete list by any means, but I bet you can relate to the fact that there were nights when rest was elusive because of spinning thoughts or a heavy heart.

It’s during those hours late at night that my dear mom grew to love the words of Psalm 23. She began slowly reciting it when she found herself waiting for sleep to arrive. Mom told us that she never got through it a third time. As the Lord reminded her of His gentle leading, His peaceful water, and His provision she knew that there was nothing to fear and that He would provide her courage for tomorrow. Sweet rest arrived.

I too recite this Psalm as I settle into bed at night. What a blessing it is to know that our Lord’s goodness and mercy is with us each and every day and that we can anticipate with joy dwelling in His presence forever.

12 Responses to Beside Peaceful Waters
  1. Barbie
    June 8, 2010 | 9:28 pm

    I love the 23rd Psalm. We have be meditating on it in our Prayer House over the last couple of months. There is so much depth there. I use to think it was just a Psalm they read at funerals. Oh, but it is so much more!

    • Deb
      June 9, 2010 | 12:06 pm

      I agree Barbie. I love taking it verse by verse and really taking the time to rest on each word. I read once that “laying a table” for a shepherd meant to use their cloak, staff, rod, and their body to make a place of protection for the lambs. I just love that beautiful image. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your comment. God’s richest blessings!

  2. Shirley Carr
    June 8, 2010 | 11:15 pm

    I love this Deb. Your Mom is a great inspiration to you and to me too. I have not completely memorized Psalm 23 but I am working on it. With my grey hair takes me a little longer/lol You bless me.

    • Deb
      June 9, 2010 | 12:03 pm

      Shirley you crack me up. When I’m getting tired I always stumble on the verse, “He guides me on paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” I’ve always wondered if it is my subconscious fighting His ways. 😉 You bless me too, my dear friend!

  3. Mel
    June 9, 2010 | 10:58 am

    Beautiful post from a lovely lady! I will try it next time I am sleepless.

    • Deb
      June 9, 2010 | 12:01 pm

      Thanks Mel! You bless me!!!

  4. Genny
    June 9, 2010 | 5:38 pm

    This post really is an inspiration, Deb!

    • Deb
      June 9, 2010 | 10:13 pm

      Thanks Genny! Your encouragement is a blessing!!

  5. Staci
    June 10, 2010 | 5:42 pm

    I’m going to try reciting this! This mom (ME!) has been having some sleepless nights lately!

    • Deb
      June 14, 2010 | 12:52 am

      Staci, I’m joining you tonight with a little sleeplessness. I’ve done my reciting, now will spend a moment on-line, and then try again. Thanks for stopping by to visit. Hope you are getting a good night’s rest!! Blessings!

  6. Elle
    June 12, 2010 | 8:16 am

    What a wonderful lesson. I never thought about reciting things when having trouble going to sleep. I am a terrible sleeper so I will definitely be trying this one. These words bring such peace and are for so much more than just funerals!

    • Deb
      June 14, 2010 | 12:53 am

      Elle, I love saying this Psalm slowly verse by verse. I can almost feel myself relaxing beside quiet waters. How blessed we are that He loves us sooooo much!! Thanks for saying hi!!