Pasture. What a peaceful concept. God calls himself our Pasture, in Jeremiah’s prophesy of Judah being reunited after the fall of Babylon. God’s people were led astray, away from their true Pasture, the Lord, and they had been devoured. Unprotected. Without hope. The Babylonians even gave that as the justification for the plundering and devastation – you were the ones that were led astray by your own leaders and abandoned your Pasture, your true habitation.
Despite our wandering away from his hope-filled pasture, He comes and rescues us. Again and again.
And his pasture is beautiful. It’s wonderful. It’s sanctifying. He wants to protect us, care for us, give us hope. His pasture is so comforting because he is with us!
And yet, we wander. Like the old hymn depicts, “prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love”.
Where do you wander?
I recently celebrated a birthday, which brought some really sweet well wishes from people that spanned different seasons of life. It was fun (and humbling!) to go back in time and think through how the Lord has been my Deliverer. My Pasture.
In my teens, I wandered right into parties and relationships I had no business being part of. I remember thinking “I will just go for a little bit”. Or, “I will just go and make good choices”. Riiiiiiiight. And the Lord had so much more for me! He had sweet fellowship and integrity for me, when I was choosing the opposite.
In my twenties, when I was so focused on starting my career and saving money, I would wander into coveting the next job. I found myself thinking about the next opportunity, instead of focusing on the one right in front of me. Who did God have for me to love? Who did I not invest in, during the seasons I was looking at the next rung on the ladder, instead of the people around me?
My thirties… oh the decade of spending too much time in the wrong pasture of worry and words. But the Lord is so faithful to call me back. To show me that He’s got a plan. Stay in his pasture of hope, stop wandering over to Worry Hill. And the words… I learned some lessons with words in my thirties, and how to avoid the pastures of gossip, and steer clear of pastures that create fire coming from my mouth. God is my Pasture, full of words that are true, lovely, and pure.
As I spend time in my forties, I know my heart will have moments of wandering, and I know our faithful God will draw me back. I’m focusing on “staying in my own lane” as one of my faith mentors has encouraged. God’s pasture is such a joyful, restful place to be, why would I ever get distracted, lost, or wander? Here’s to letting go of my “fix-it” tendencies and trading them for following the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
What about you, where do you wander? Is he calling you back to his Pasture today?
1. Jeremiah 50:7 2. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Robert Robinson, 1758