I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
In Jesus Christ, God gives us Himself, both spiritually and physically. 'Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us' (Matthew 1:23). The original 'gift that keeps on giving' is Jesus, and we are His beloved--shepherded and sheltered under His care.
If mountains stand as obstacles and challenges in our lives, green pastures provide rest and abundance. Our bodies need sleep to function, and our lives need rest to become fruitful. Rest is both a law of nature signified by the seasons, and a law of God signified by the Sabbath.
Have you ever worked to the point of exhaustion while accomplishing little? Speaking for myself--busted! Many times, I forget the Word calls for rest and that ultimately God is the One who does the work. It's easy to fall into the trap of believing I can do it all myself--if I just try hard enough. But I cannot take God's place. I cannot outwork God. Even He rested.
When we've done our best and a mountain still blocks our path, the Psalms offer great wisdom. 'From my distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me in a large place' (Psalm 118:5). The large place is a green pasture, and it is rest. It is the peace He gives us while taking our cares upon Himself.
Eager, hard-working actors succeed by following God's laws of work and rest: 'He scorns the tumult of the city, the shoutings of the driver he does not hear. He explores the mountains for his pasture and searches after every green thing' (Job 39:7-8).
Seek relief from the tumult. Give your work to the Boss. Rest in green pastures.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Enemies and Friends To Success series.