Day 3 of Thoughts on Psalm 23
“He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3, ESV).
I’ve always been fascinated by restoration projects. With reality TV, there are plenty of shows that center around these projects, and they are so fun to watch, following the process from start to finish. Items or houses that have been damaged and are falling apart are restored to their former beauty, and it never fails to intrigue me. But do you ever notice a theme that all these restoration projects seem to have in common? You’ll notice that the person who does the restoring shows tremendous care and love for the item or home they are working to restore. They have to invest a considerable amount of their time, resources and energy in order to restore beauty to what was once broken or ruined.
As Christians, we are not immune to stumbling and quickly finding ourselves in a state of brokenness. Over time, we can easily fall off the right path and lose our way. Isaiah 53:6 reminds us, “All we like sheep have gone astray.” We can be stubborn and lose sight of Whom we should be following. We fall into bad habits, focus only on ourselves in selfishness, and allow sin to take a firmer grip on our lives. Sin then takes root, and we find we are in desperate need of restoration, time and time again. So, what does God think when we do fall away? Is He upset? Mad? Angry?
Not our God! David says that He not only restores our soul but He leads us to a path of righteousness. Our God tenderly loves and cares for our souls. It’s here, in our brokenness, that grace and mercy are on full display. When He sees me broken, He wants to lovingly restore me, putting me back on the path that will lead me to Him. My God intimately knows me and knows what’s best for me. In Mark 8:34, the Lord Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” My God is always going to lead me down the right path, and my responsibility is to simply follow Him. And yet it’s true that I often wander, just like a helpless sheep, seeking my own path and falling into the hands of the enemy. Let us be thankful that our God can see beauty in broken things, and lovingly place us on a path that leads us back to Him!