He makes me lie down in green pastures. Psalm 23:2a
Somebody said the only unchanging fact of life is that things change. The question then arises about what happens to us whenever things change. Interestingly, the twenty third psalm depicts a champion’s attitude during various seasons of life. His unchanging values are brought to the fore throughout those changing seasons. He is truly “a man for all seasons”.
The character and values of a believer are often revealed in times of “green pastures”. These are seasons of prosperity, abundance or affluence. When things go well for some people, they turn their backs on God. Why is it like that? Why is it that many people seek the Lord when they are desperate, stranded and poor but abandon the faith as soon as they begin to prosper?
Check out what God says about this in Deuteronomy 8:10-14: “When you have eaten your fill, be sure to PRAISE the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not FORGET the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become PROUD at that time and FORGET the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.” (Emphasis mine).
Thankfully, the champion believer of Psalm 23 does not forget who brought him this far or become proud. He remains trustful, grateful and humble in times of plenty. How can you also remain faithful, grateful and humble in green pastures? As Deuteronomy says, REMEMBER who brought you here! Also choose to be HUMBLE. Fight the sin of PRIDE in your heart.
Like the psalmist, let us acknowledge that every blessing we have in every stage of life is a direct result of the Good Shepherd’s provision. Every breath we take is due to His grace. Our very sanity, strength and skills are all due to Him. Every gift, talent or ability is ours purely by the grace of God. Every asset, opportunity and accolade belongs to the Lord. We don’t deserve anything. We owe Him everything. Such was the psalmist’s awareness. And so should ours be.
As for me, through it all I have learned to trust in God and to depend upon His Word. I’ve come to the point of realising that I am NOTHING without Jesus (see John 15:5). I have no illusion of my own intelligence, knowledge or power apart from Christ. I’ve noticed that our earthly success is so fickle. It can vanish into thin air any moment. I have learned that humility is a CHOICE. It’s up to me to decide in advance that all that I am, everything I achieve, every accolade I receive, and all that I shall become-I owe it all to Jesus, my Good Shepherd. How about you?