I am meditating today on a favorite subject – green pastures.
You know – the ones that bring to mind the vast rolling green landscapes of the English countryside. Their verdant meadows are separated by stone fences hand built through the pastoral labors of conscientious shepherd farmers through the centuries. Such a scene is a feast for the eyes and a comfort to the heart.
Spending a season in a cozy thatched roof cottage on the outskirts of such a place has always been a dream of mine. I am in complete sympathy with Jane Austen’s Fanny of Mansfield Park who once remarked . . .
Yes. And a cup of tea in hand with my Bible on my lap as I lean against a tree drinking in every shade of green, every ray of sunshine, every hue of blue in a sapphire sky. Like a great heavenly quilt, the scene envelopes me with peace and serenity. Sanctuary. The overarching love of God.
These are images I retreat to in my devotional moments – and have run to through the years. It was the inspiration for one of the short stories in Fragrant Fields: The Writer’s Reverie Collection, recounting the tale of Joyful Heart and how she found her place in His pasture . . .
This past year, the oft quoted and well loved Psalm 23 has been pressed into my spirit with a depth and freshness unexpected from such familiar words. I love how we can never exhaust learning of the Lord in His Word – even when we think we have mined all the treasures from a passage. He always has so much more. Like an old friend, Psalm 23 brought me great comfort this year and was the seedbed inspiration for my most recent theatrical production this past spring. In one of the scenes, an old shepherd sums up Psalm 23 in his own words . . .
This week, ask the Lord to open a new window on a verse that is a familiar friend to you. May you, too, be astonished at the LIFE that is ever found in the verdant pastures of His Word – always new and just for you.
Sharing Meme-Me Friday: Joyful Heart in the Pasture this week with Charlotte on Spiritual Sundays.
Special Thanks to Pastor Frank Ippolito for the use of photos he took when he was in the Yorkshire Dales in England.
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