Graze: To feed on growing grasses.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

-Ps. 23:1-6

Growing up on a farm, I used to watch the cows, sheep & horses graze in the pasture. Each morning we would open the gate to the barnyard and they knew there was freedom from that small pen they were in. They also knew there was nice green grass beyond the barnyard. Once the gate was open, look out because those animals wanted to get where the tall, green grass grew – the pasture! They would take off sometimes even running up the old fenced lane that went up over the hill through the cornfield to the lush green pasture on the other side of the farm. There they would graze for a while then lay down and rest for a while then graze some more. They did this all day long. Come evening we would go over to the pasture’s edge and call the cows – 'come boss, 'come boss. They would gather at the pasture gate. Sometimes we would have to go round up a few stragglers and when all were accounted for, we’d open the lane gate and back over the hill they would go to the barnyard for the night. The next morning was the same routine, day after day.
What a life, huh?!

Oh that we could just graze and rest in shady green pastures all day long! But we can rest and graze in God’s green pastures and restore our souls . . . The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. (Ps. 23:1) I believe God wants us to slow down and “rest” and “graze” and “feed” on His Word. Life throws so many things our way and we are so busy – busy doing good things. But are we running on empty a good share of the time? Are we feeling stretched to extreme? Are we content with who we are in God’s divine providence? Slow down and take some time to just leisurely graze, rest a while, then graze and feed on the good things God has provided for you. Graze, rest, and enjoy the “shady green pastures” of God’s abundant love, grace, and mercy.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Yesterday I was driving down the interstate and couldn't help but notice as I looked out my window at the side of the road some of the debris (remains, rubble, rubbish, wreckage, trash) scattered along the road. At first I just noticed a plastic sack blowing in the breeze or a cup or can someone had aimlessly tossed out to get rid of. But the further I drove the more and more I began to take note. The winter covering of snow, having all melted, now showed nearly a covering of trash and litter scattered all along the roadway. Besides the usual sacks, papers, cups, cans, bottles - I began looking to see what all was laying in the grass. There were hubcaps, license plates, boards, tires, parts of cars, which I assume were left from a wreck or fender-bender. There was a dead deer and raccoon, a broken chair, a big black garbage bag that looked like it was full of something ... I was not going to stop to check it out! As I drove along I began thinking about all of this trash and junk that was littering up the highway. What a shame! What could have been a nice, quiet, beautiful drive ended up being quite disturbing to me. Where and how did all of this trash get there? Take a good look next time you drive along. Have we no pride in this God-given land of ours??

This actually kind of haunted me - and I began thinking how it must have started with just one person's carelessness and then multiplied by numerous careless people thinking it's one cup or one empty pop can, etc. Then I began thinking about our lives. How so many times we allow just one little "thing" to creep into our life thinking, "it's just a little thing", "it's just this one time", etc. But as time goes on, those "one little things" just seem to add up and before we know it our lives are cluttered up with a lot of junk and debris that keep us from "grazing" in the grasslands of God's grace! We may find that we are not enjoying the grazing ground God has provided for us because we can't get to the "growing grass" where we will grow in God's love. We can't grow and become what God wants us to be if our lives have debris - remains, rubble, rubbish, wreckage and trash in them.

I heard on the radio today a pitch for all of us to "clean up our city" and they were talking about all of the litter around town that is so visable since the snow has melted. They were encouraging everyone to stop and pick up the litter around them. I think this is a great idea and we all need to do our part to make our spot beautiful. But what am I doing about my life? What are you doing about your life? Is there junk and debris in your life that you also need to clean up? Is there some "wreckage" there that needs fixed or taken care of? Are there things in your life that are weighing you down so that you can't get to the "growing grass" and God can't shine through you? Start today, be strong, choose to step out in faith and stand up for yourself and get rid of the debris that is weighing you down. Let's clean up where we live both inside and out!!

Psalm 51:2-7 - "Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin . . Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow."

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