Thursday, October 20, 2016

Pasture Maker?

The last several days have been difficult. For different reasons I have been battling depression and haven't felt like communicating with anyone, not even family.  It's something I struggle with anyway and take meds for, but this has been something extra.

If you've battled it yourself, you know what it's like to feel like you're in a dark hole, you can see the light above you, but you can't seem to get out.  What you'd really like is to turn over and go back to sleep - for a very long time.   Well enough of that not-so-pretty picture.

Some heart-to-hearts with the Lord, some good talks with my husband, some scripture, rest, a good friends' well-chosen words - Christ has used all of these to bring me back to a brighter place.

It's another instance of His being my "Pasture Maker."  In case you've wondered why I chose this name for my blog, there are multiple reasons.  The term was first brought to my attention in a song by Nicole Nordeman called, "I Am."  She sings about different phases in her life and what she called God at those times, according to her understanding, and the ways He met her deepest needs.

At one point, she calls Him "Pasture Maker."  Then I was reminded of Psalm 23 which I learned as a child but never really appreciated the verse that says, "He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul."  Then Jesus says of Himself in John 10:9, "I am the Door. If anyone enters by me, he (she) will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture." Then there is the song I quoted in an earlier blog that starts out with, "In shady green pastures so rich and so sweet, God leads His dear children along."

All of these mean so much to me at this point in my life.  While He has always been my Shepherd, in these days I am keenly aware of fighting spiritual, physical, and mental and emotional battles, only to find myself very tired and limping back to Him once again.  When those times come, I have a sense of being in His pasture.  The gates around me are strong, keeping out harm and holding me in. I find rest, nourishment, and the love and care of my Shepherd. I don't have to understand what's going on out there or even within my own soul. I just rest my mind and body and know He is there, embracing me and protecting me.  Reminds me (I know - again!) of a phrase in another old favorite hymn,  
The protection of His child and treasure 
Is a charge that on Himself He laid; 
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure," 
This the pledge to me He made.

Dear Jesus, tender Shepherd, One who knows me inside and out, behind and before, my Redeemer, I love You, trust You, and lie down in Your green pasture tonight.


  1. After I read this post, I went looking for a verse that a friend wrote down on a 3x5 card for me last year, when I was in a very similar frame of mind. I have kept that little card with me over the last year because even in the very difficult times (and there have been some), because it was a tangible way that God used in what have seemed like the worst situations - to remind me that it is He who has led me to the place in life where I have come to know Him.

    I can't find that little card. I looked half the night. I'd give anything to have it again and share it with you. I read through several Psalms, looking for the verse, and there was a common theme:

    Psalm 4:8
    In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

    Psalm 68:19
    Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.

    You like hymn texts. These two are probably my favorite.

    Be still, my soul; your God will undertake
    To guide the future as he has the past.
    Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
    All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
    Be still, my soul; the waves and wind still know
    His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

    How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv’n;
    So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav’n.
    No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
    Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. You are always in my prayers.

  3. Joy, I pray for you every day and you have been on my prayer list for a long time. But, it seems nearly every day you cross my mind at one time or another, just as a reminder that God is good, He has a plan much bigger (and wiser) than anything I could ever come up with, and that sometimes I just need to stop and be still...thank you, my dear friend.