“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness…” (Psalm 23:3)
In one of the most popular psalms written by King David, he shares the key to living and dying well in his opening statement. When we say (and believe) that the Lord is our shepherd, we can say 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 the Good Shepherd makes us lie down. But when we get up, the green pastures often turn brown and still waters are disturbed again.
That’s when David gives us a prescription for restoration: my Shepherd-God leads me in the paths of righteousness. The second time David writes ‘He leads me,’ he uses a different Hebrew word that means He 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 Psalm 23 is not cheap. It takes time and it’s costly, but it works. It has worked for me and 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 invest again with dignity?
Dick Woodward, 11 May 2010