He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3
How often we need to be restored! How quickly sinful thoughts flash through my mind, or in an unguarded moment a harsh word crosses my lips. Perhaps there is a hasty reaction of the flesh to something which I had vowed never to yield to again. But then to know: “He restores my soul”. Those words are still true. To Peter the Lord said, “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail” (Luke 22:32). He has done that for us many times, and He will do it many more times as the need arises. We can count on our gracious Shepherd to restore us, but we cannot count for one moment on our own strength not to fail Him.
We want to discern the Lord’s will for our lives, so we try to figure it out on our own. We find then that the plans we have made end in disappointment. Whatever happened? We were so sure this was the Lord’s will, and now everything is falling apart. Our hopes are dashed to pieces, and our expectations have crumbled. Then we look around to find someone to blame. If we can find no one to accuse, we might even blame the devil. That is what Adam and Eve did after disobeying God’s word. All the while the Shepherd is patiently waiting for us to come back to Him.
The Great Shepherd wants us to follow Him. He leads in the right paths – not to please my own desires, but for His name’s sake. Is His discernment not better than mine? Can we not trust Him? Here is what He promised to do for His people of old: “He shepherded them according to the integrity of His heart, and guided them bu the skillfulness of his hands” (Psalm 78:72). He does not change. He is still the same today. Does your soul need to be restored? Then may this be the same prayer of your heart. “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit” (Psalm 51:12).