A polluted pot hole—does that sound appealing to you? W. Phillip Keller, in his amazing book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, says that restless, thirsty sheep often drink from them. Ugh! Then, he compares this to people who have a deep inner thirst for fulfillment. If their ability to fellowship with God is dried up, they will drink from any dirty pool.
He contrasts these sheep with ones who graze before dawn on grass that is covered with dew. Then, during the heat of the day, they will lie down, already well-fed and well-watered. That’s how it can be for humans, Keller says. “[T]hose who are often the most serene, most confident and able to cope with life’s complexities are those who rise early each day to feed on God’s Word. It is in the quiet, early hours of the morning that they are led beside the quiet, still waters where they imbibe the very life of Christ for the day.”*
Some years ago, I was conversing with a friend whose family was in crisis—just like mine. Suddenly he said, “I pay a shrink big bucks to tell me how to deal with this situation. How is it you already know this stuff?”
I didn’t have an answer for him. Later, though, I realized it was the time I spent in Bible reading and prayer before the rest of my family awoke . . . During that half hour, I received from the Word and the Spirit an impartation of supernatural peace and perspective.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes. . . .
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:99, 103).
Making It Personal
- Does it seem there’s no time for Bible reading and prayer? Ask the Lord to show you how you can pull this off. (It might not be in the morning.)
- If meeting with the Lord daily makes the rest of your day more profitable, can you afford not to?
- Have you found yourself drinking from polluted pools—activities and thoughts you’re not proud of? Fill your heart with godliness. You will lose your taste for unclean things.
*W. Phillip Keller, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1970), p. 50-51, 52.