“You are His.”

The Pour:

For a full description of what The Pour section is, check out Day 1’s post of this series.

We’re going to pour out all the random thoughts that just won’t stop – All the stuff floating around in your head at this moment, “pour it out,” at God’s feet. This could include everything from the grocery list to those deep needs and prayers in your heart.

Simply say:

Dear God,

This has been on my mind and heart, please take it: (and then list it all out)

Now, with a clear mind finish the prayer with:

And now help me to hear Your message for my heart today.

Amen

The Beans:

The Background:

A shepherd cared for his sheep, much like parents care for their children. They would put themselves in harm’s way in order to protect their sheep. They cared deeply for these sheep, who were by nature, not exactly smart. Sheep could get themselves into bad situations, pretty easily, and the shepherd would always, lovingly, guide them home.

This is why David, a former shepherd himself, uses a shepherd’s care of sheep to describe how God protects us, His sheep, in the Psalm that we’re looking at today.

The Verse:

Psalm 23:1-3

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.”

The Fill:

What’s the point for YOU?:

  • What word or phrase from this verse popped out to you?

Read the verse a second time and answer:

  • What could this word or phrase be speaking to in your life? (What situation, struggle, relationship, or decision)

The Steam:

What does all of this mean to me/how can I apply that to my life today?

I was two, maybe three years into my time as Youth Director at our church. I had hit a point (several by then) but had finally hit THE point of complete overwhelm and burnout.

I won’t bore you with all the details, just know I was overwhelmed.

So overwhelmed, in fact, that I went and broke down to our Pastor … and just know, admitting I need help is something I DO NOT do easily, so the fact that I asked for help is telling.

Anyways, our Pastor, walked me through the church and shared how he had been using Psalm 23 to calm his heart and mind.

He said that he and his wife Sallie, who was battling ovarian cancer at the time, would read this psalm to each other every night to find comfort and peace.

Something about what he said, or the psalm itself really struck me, so …

I went back to my office, closed my eyes (and the door) and tried to envision myself sitting near a pond on a beautiful, Spring day, as Jesus just came and sat beside me.

This meditation, or visualization (I’m really not sure what you should call it) … but, it helps me to feel connected to God when I’m overwhelmed.

This Psalm says, “He is my shepherd,” which emphasizes His care and concern for us. It highlights the truth that He knows what’s best for us, when we don’t … or better yet, as a wandering sheep, when we *think* we know what’s best for ourselves.

As we become overwhelmed wandering around aimlessly, frantically even … we need to remember just how much He loves us.

He is our protector, who wants to take our burdens, and give us peace and rest in return. Because … you need to hear this loud and clear today …

You are His. 

He loves and adores you, and just like any good parent, it hurts Him to see you hurting. He wants to comfort those dark places in your mind and heart, and give you rest in return.

So it might sound crazy, but I want you to try a my little version of meditation now.

(And it might work best to listen to the audio version, if you’re able to press play.)

I want you to begin by closing your eyes (if you can), and taking 5 deep breaths. Focus on the sound of each breath, and the rise and fall in your chest. Focus on your body’s position, and how it feels as you clear your mind, and slow your heart rate.

Now, picture your most ideal day … it’s your favorite temperature outside, with the weather the exact way you like it, as you sit in your favorite place.

Notice the details of the scene around you.

Are there trees? Is there a pond, ocean, or stream?

Are their clouds in the sky or is it a beautiful blue?

Look down at your feet, is there sand, grass or gravel beneath you?

Take some time to just breathe in this space.

Now I want you to visualize Jesus walking up to you. He doesn’t say anything, but just sits down beside you with a warm smile on His face.

Neither of you need to fill the space with any words, but simply be present with one another.

Stay here for as long as you’d like or need to.

 

Regardless of whether this type of meditation is something that really resonates with you, or not, what we gain from today’s Psalm is the knowledge that God can, and will, show up to give you rest, and refresh your soul.

Try different ways of just being with God that really work for you, and be sure to do them on those days where you’re especially overwhelmed.

To help us transition from quiet time, back into “real life,” taking both what we’ve learned, and the peace we just received, throughout the rest of our day …

We’re going to list out our small blessings from the past 24 hours, and an affirmation about yourself, life, or day.

Here we go:

My Blessings:

List “small” blessings from the past 24 hours.

*Noticing the small blessings, really opens our eyes to just how blessed we are, AND to the fact that God is always with us.

List things such as: the dog actually came back in when I called, my coffee was especially delicious this morning, my husband gave me a hug out of nowhere, or my child had a good report at school.

My Affirmations:

List positive affirmations about yourself/life:

Here, I want you to list things such as, “I will be present or happy or joyful.”    “I AM worth it.”       “I am IN CONTROL of ___ situation.”

OR, if you’ve got BIG goals list those with determination. “I WILL run today, to train for that 5K.” “I WILL finish that project.” etc.

 

**List those out now, and then go on with your day affirmed, and determined.