One time during college, I returned home for a weekend. I arrived after my family had already eaten, but my mom had set aside a plate of food for me. As I attacked the meal, my mother stood close by. Presently she remarked, "I sure love watching you eat!"
I still love to eat, so the abundant images of food and drink in Psalm 23 are comforting. Yet, what I also find inviting are the pictures of green pastures and still waters. In the rush of a modern life, the opportunities for rest and restoration are rare. Maybe we do not seek them as much as we need.
Coming home for a weekend provided more than a good meal. I was able to get away from the rigors of studying and spend time with family and friends. The psalmist invites us to enjoy just such restorations as God provides.
Psalm 23 (NRSV)
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.