by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
Psalms 23:2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters.
The average American who reads this passage probably thinks of green pastures as wide areas of unending soft green grass. But here in Israel the climate is so dry, that there's really no such thing.
Long ago, the shepherds of Israel learned to find grass where most people wouldn't think to look. Here, green pastures are created as the breeze from the Mediterranean Sea brings moisture into our arid climate. It is from this moisture that a kind of dew settles upon the sides of certain hills creating little tufts of grass — just enough for one day's feeding for a flock of sheep. The shepherds would lead their flocks through the hot parched desert in search of these. It's no wonder those sheep would obey the shepherd's voice. They would easily die in the desert trying to survive on their own. The sheep learned to depend on the shepherd to daily lead them to their sustenance.
How many times does it feel like we're walking aimlessly through the desert and there doesn't seem any refreshment near? When our lives our bombarded with trial after trial it can feel this way. But we must keep in mind that though we are walking through the desert, our Shepherd is leading us to green pastures to be refreshed. And it's these times in the desert that God causes us to depend more upon on him. These thirsty times are special times — times to be embraced!
Don't despise those desert walks with the Shepherd and don't be afraid. God has something special for us there — and there are green pastures near.