Keys to the Kingdom
I didn’t grow up in a home with a formal dining room, so when Jimmy and I built our house 40 years ago, we customized the original plans. Raised in the country, I changed the dining room into a utility room and opted for a big comfortable kitchen. Early in our marriage, we purchased an antique walnut drop-leaf table that would seat ten when expanded with two additional leaves. This table was in mint condition and beautiful.
There’ve been a few times when I’ve considered getting rid of the table and chairs because they’ve been run through the mill and have seen better days. But when I get right down to it, there are simply too many memories in that table. We’ve spent hundreds of hours sitting at that table praying, talking, laughing, playing games, and sharing meals with family and friends. Nope. The table stays — it just needs to be restored.
The other night I was praying and, after a few sentences, my own words seemed to fail me. I then began to pray the words of the young shepherd boy. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He restoreth my soul. He restoreth my soul.” I could not get past the revelation of what those four words meant. The definition of “restore” means to return something or someone to a former condition. Just like the kitchen table, some of us have some boo boos in our soul that need to heal.
The soul is our mind, our will, and our emotions. The soul processes our circumstances, thoughts, emotions, and decisions. God has made a wonderful promise that in tough times He will restore our soul back to its former joyful condition. God has a unique path designed for all His children. If we will allow Him to be our Shepherd, He’ll guide us by His Holy Spirit to complete restoration.
I memorized Psalm 23 either in Sunday School or Vacation Bible School. I’m thankful for the teacher that realized the importance of children memorizing this valuable chapter. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11 NKJV). God’s Word is a powerful and precious gift to treasure. You can pull it out when you need it if it’s as close as your heart.
It’s interesting that David mentions a table later in the chapter: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over” (Psalm 23:5 KJV). For me, the kitchen table represents happy times sharing food with those you love. Even though David was a mighty warrior and had enemies, God prepared a banqueting table for him. There was no worry or confusion even though his enemies were lurking just outside the door. Likewise, God prepares a table for us right in the middle of storms and sorrows and we can choose to sit down, rest, and eat as if everything is in God‘s hands.
The Key: If your soul has been run through the mill, give it to the Shepherd and He will restore it.