"The Lord. HE is my Shepherd.
I do not and shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul."
The sunlight filters through the leaves almost every morning, and its delicate shadows are mimicked by the ones cast by my lacy curtains, hung on every window.
From my bed in my wood paneled upstairs room, I can see only branches and leaves through our two big windows. I feel a frequent smile as I remember on mornings like these, that I live in Sherwood Forrest. The romance and enticement from many page bound adventures have followed me from childhood to delight me now as I watch the mornings settle comfortably into themselves.
I love the way each blade of grass becomes backlit by early sunlight. The way shadows seem to accent and highlight at this time of day, rather than conceal. A bird trills, close by my treehouse room, and I feel a little thrill. I love listening to birds sing out their Goodmornings.
My baby rustles, and my little feathery wisp of a girl tiptoes upstairs, and I pile each into bed with me. The one with the drooly lip, gurgles and searches for his breakfast, which I give him, while his sister chatters about her dreams from the night before.
It could be Monday, or a dreaded "hump day." Any day. My heart no longer sinks as the sun rises. Instead I feel peace.
Peace does not come naturally to my anxious temperament. Ordinary tasks such as laundry and bathroom tidying are wont to push me into stress. The daily cares of mothering my little ones have the ability to become insurmountable mountains, foes to my calm. Anything and everything, I can pile like stones into a wall, blocking the warming sunlight from my heart, leaving it cold, weary and restless.
But He restoreth my soul. His mercy and grace is new every morning. And more often than not, I am finding that can feel it.
The wings of my heart do not batter and struggle anymore, as if caged. Rather, His beautiful peace blows soft underneath, and I find I can soar. In my lack of control and foresight of my future, I do not want.
Oh what marvelous peace. What blissful rest. My heart has tasted the Good and Seen. He hath made me to lie down. My pastures are green. The waters are calm and still.
I can not claim that I have achieved some zen-like state of inner tranquility, no. I am but a fretful sheep, stumbling and moaning through each valley. But I think for the first time, I am beginning to see the Shepherd, and to be truly aware of His presence. And this makes me fear no evil, for HE is with me.
I have so far to go. The journey ahead is one paved with much unknown, much worry and much to fear.
He leadeth me ever on. And in the presence of my fears, He has made me to lie down.
Today, tomorrow, they could bring much. Tears will still stain my face, aches will still stab. But Joy. JOY is in the following of the Shepherd and I fear no evil.