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Poolnoon Burn, Mt Aspiring Region
Photo by Dr J Macleod

Psalm 23: He Restores My Soul...

Dr J Macleod —

My favourite place as a small child was a family batch that my grandfather had built. It was very basic, but I loved being there.

I loved being outside and swimming at the beach. I loved making sandcastles and digging for treasure with the other children. I loved the relaxed environment and the sense of being settled and safe.

Sometimes life is all right, but sometimes there are mean kids, or stresses, or things that don’t go our way. We can feel pulled in different directions and unsure of ourselves. People are not always easy; family is not always easy.

David, who wrote the 23rd psalm, was a shepherd as a boy. He looked after his sheep, found pasture and water for them, and protected them from the elements and from wild animals. Through his life, David came to recognise God as being this kind of safe place. He could talk to God about what he was dealing with, recognise that he had sufficient, remember that he was not alone, and rest in a sense of being in a restored relationship. David recognised God as his shepherd.

Psalm 23 is probably the most well-known psalm. It invites us to rest, reflect, and know that there is One who offers to restore our soul.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he restores my soul.