“He restores my soul” Psalm 23 v 3a
It sort of sounds like Jesus, our Good Shepherd, is taking our shoes to back to the shops. He “re – stores” my “sole” – get it?
I thought I’d been really smart last winter. I picked up a pair of ankle boots at the end of winter on sale and kept them until my current pair died so I’d have a new pair ready to go. But no…. the fourth, yes fourth, time I wore them (inside only mind you – not even scuffed yet) I took a normal step and the heel ripped off! I tell you, I felt it ripped off!!!
Thinking about how it would be nice to re-store my sole and heel of my new boot, but how impossible over twelve months later, it strangely got me thinking about this verse.
Usually when I ponder Psalm 23 my mind is still on the green pastures and still waters and am still feeling “ahh, how nice and relaxing” as the words “He restores my soul” just amble past my mind…. But this time I’ve stopped and thought about them. For Christ to have to restore my soul, there must have been something broken or not right that needed fixing. For twelve months my boots did not need restoring but having taken one fatal step they are now in desperate need of restoring or binning. And Jesus doesn’t bin us. He loving brings us out of the broken place we’ve been in and quietly, gently brings restoration to our soul.
Restoration is usually a restful, peaceful, methodical, caring, loving thing that someone does, like restoring antique furniture or a painting. Sometimes it takes a long time, sometimes not, but the more the Restorer cares about the project, the more love is poured in, the better the end result.
I don’t know about you but I have noticed in life that often God has given me, and those close to me, a time of restoration not so much after a traumatic experience but before. It’s just like Psalm 23, the restoration happens before He leads you through the valley. For example six months before my marriage ended God gave me three months break from working. I hadn’t had any break from work (besides the odd week’s leave) since before I finished high school. This break meant that I was emotionally, physically and mentally better able to cope with the valley of separation and divorce when it came. Just last year God gave a close friend of mine eight weeks off between jobs that finished just a matter of weeks before her mother-in-law passed away.
So wherever your shoes need restoring, or are walking you through the valley or just resting besides still waters, remember today that this place you’re in is not the end of the journey. The end of the journey is a banquet in the midst of your enemies, your cup overflowing and finally dwelling in the house of the Lord forever. So pause to rest, to be restored but don’t forget that after a while you need to put your boots back on and keep walking the journey… oh, I’d better get my old boots out to do that….. or new boots Lord, thanks.
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