Psalm 23: A Prescription for Restoration

“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness…” (Psalm 23:3)

In the most popular psalm written by King David, he shares the key to living well and dying well in his opening statement. When we say (& believe) that the Lord is our Shepherd, we can say that we have green pastures, still waters and the knowledge that the paths in which we are moving are the right paths for us.

This all happens when God makes us lie down. But when we get up, the green pastures often turn brown and the still waters are disturbed again.

That’s when David gives a prescription for restoration: my Shepherd-God leads me in the paths of righteousness. This second time David writes ‘He leads me,’ he uses a different Hebrew word that means God drives me into the paths of righteousness, perhaps for some time, even years.

God then uses the discipline of those paths of righteousness to restore my soul.

The word “rehabilitation” in its Latin root means “to invest again with dignity.” It, too, is a prescription for restoration.

When we need restoration and rehabilitation we should not look for what’s cheap. God’s prescription for restoration in the Shepherd Psalm of David is not a cheap prescription.

It takes time and it’s costly, but it works. It has worked for me and for scores of others I know personally.

It can also work for you.

When you suffer great loss you can focus on what you have lost and be depressed, or you can focus on what you still have and be restored.

Are you willing to join me and invest again with dignity?

Dick Woodward, 11 May 2010

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