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.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I remember one year my older brother, John, got a bow and arrow set. We put targets up on the hay stack beside the barn and started taking turns to see who would get the bulls-eye! Of course, John had the edge on me, he hunted and aimed at squirrels, rabbits and varmints all the time! But, with a little practice I was able to hit the target and actually wasn’t to shabby – even got so I could hit the bulls-eye more times than not! I can still picture it . . . standing straight and tall, arm outstretched holding the bow, placing the arrow on the string, stretching the string and arrow back while aiming at the target. The bow armed and aimed in the right direction! Then there was the “swishing” sound of the arrow as it was released and hurled toward the target. Then “thug” into the “bulls-eye”!! What excitement I felt!

I read this Bible verse this morning and my thoughts went back to those bow and arrow days as a kid. I remember studying that target and aiming for that bulls-eye and adjusting the angle of that arrow before I ever let go of the arrow.

“What a God! His road stretches straight and smooth. Every GOD-direction is road-tested. Everyone who runs toward him makes it. Is there any god like GOD? Are we not at bedrock? Is not this the God who armed me, then aimed me in the right direction?”
-Psalm 18:30-32 (Message)

These verses intrigued me as I read them. There are a lot of action words in them – stretches – runs – armed – aimed. And look at some of those other descriptive words – straight – smooth – bedrock.

What do all of those words mean to you? When I think about the meaning of those words and how they are used in the scripture, it encourages me in my daily grind through life.

Stretch: to lengthen, widen, or distend by pulling; to cause to extend across a given space; to reach or put forth; to flex one’s muscles; to strain; to extend the limits; to prolong. Does God want to lengthen me, widen me (let’s hope not!!! LOL!), extend me? Is He wanting me to flex my muscles for him and extend the limits in my Christian walk with Him?
Run: To move on foot at a pace faster than the walk; to retreat rapidly; flee; to move without hindrance or restraint; to make a short, quick trip; to hurry, hasten; to continue; to pass, to persist or recur; to be effective. Is God wanting me to move on foot faster than a walk, retreat, flee? Does He want me to move without hindrance or restraint? Is He telling me to hurry, to hasten, to continue, to persist, to be effective for Him?
Arm: A weapon; a branch of military force; to equip with weapons; to prepare for. Do I have faith enough to believe that God in His wisdom will equip me with what I need for what lies ahead of me and not send me on my way unprepared for my journey?
Aim: To direct (a weapon, remark, etc.) at someone or something; to direct a weapon; to direct one’s efforts or purpose; intention. Do I know that God wants to direct my efforts, my purpose and my intentions and use them for His purpose?
What about you? Do you know God wants to do all of this for you also? Maybe He is wanting to stretch you and help you run faster. Do you know His presence and know He will arm you and aim you in the right direction if you will let Him? God wants to walk with you every minute of every day. He wants to prepare the way for you and me . . .

Straight: Extending continuously in the same direction without curving; having no waves or bends, Erect; upright; direct and candid; uninterrupted; correct or accurate; honest; fair; neatly arranged; orderly undiluted or unmixed.
Smooth: Free from irregularities, roughness, or projections; having a fine texture or consistency; having an even or gentle motion; having no obstructions or difficulties; ingratiating; to make smooth; to rid of hindrances, difficulties, etc; to make calm.
Bedrock: Solid rock that underlies the earth’s surface; the lowest or bottom level; fundamental principles.

Wow - How exciting to know that it is God that arms us. He is equipping us with the weapons we need for our journey through this life. What an awesome and loving God!

Whatever obstacles are out there - He is preparing me and you for what is ahead – He’s arming us. Then the scripture says He then aims us in the right direction! He directs us and our efforts, our intentions. God in His wisdom has aimed us where He wants to use us, where the road stretches straight and smooth. His way is “road-tested”. It leads to bedrock! Bedrock: Solid rock that underlies the earth’s surface; the lowest or bottom level; fundamental principles.
What better place is there to be than on the solid rock of our Lord and Savior! Together we can handle whatever comes our way . . . me and God -we can hit the “bulls-eye!

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