Take It Personal

He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:2-3

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon in Eastern NC as I headed out for another visit to Goose Creek State Park. The afternoon couldn’t have been any better as I set out to do a complete round on the wooded walking trails. My heart was full of anticipation. I was asking Him for an encounter….“Father, I’m asking you to restore my soul on this walk.”

Just that morning I had heard one of my favorite Christian speakers talking about how we needed to let go of all pretenses and just be real with the Father. That’s exactly what He desires from us. Life has a way of beating you up at times, and it’s absolutely okay to get real with Him. As I headed down the trail, that’s exactly what I was doing,repeating over and over, “Father, restore my soul.”

A couple of miles down the trail I headed off to the left down a path I had never been before. The sign, for which I had never noticed, said “Mallard Creek.” To my surprise, what I thought was just a detour that would lead me back to the main trial was a dead end. I thought, “Man, I’m going to have to back track that quarter mile just to get back to where I was going,” but that still small voice said, “Check it out.” I was so glad I did. Mallard Lake was beautiful. The water was as slick as glass. I stood at the end of the pier and took it all in for a few minutes, gazing to the left and right.

Back on the main trail and within the home stretch of a 6-mile hike, it hit me. I had been hearing a piece of a verse in my head during the whole walk, but in a moment, the Father brought it all together for me. It was Psalm 23:2-3: He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.”

I was reminded of how I started out my hike asking Him for an “encounter” and for Him to “restore my soul,” and He showed me how He “Leads me beside still waters.” The Mallard Lake path was no diversion, but an object lesson.

It’s easy to read scripture and think “Awe, that was just David’s experience and not meant for me.” I’ve thought that way before. But, the truth is every word and promise in His Word is for us. What David said in Psalm 23 when he cried out to the Father, was meant for us as well. We can claim that, and any other request or promise for ourselves. He wants us to let go of any pretense and come to Him with any request or enquiry and when we read a promise in His word, He wants us to take it personal.

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