"He leadeth me beside the still waters." Psalm 23:2b
Thirst is a basic need for all people and animals alike. Have you ever had a day where you were so thirsty you just had to have a drink of water and nothing else would satisfy. We have many drink options but nothing can satisfy us more than water. There is a reason for that: our body is composed of about 60% water. By drinking water, we help different functions in our body to do what God created them to do.
Just like us, the sheep's body is composed of 70% water on average. The fluid helps to maintain their normal body metabolism. The water is also essential in helping with their general health and well-being, along with determining their strength, vitality and vigor. When their water supply drops off, dehydration sets in causing serious damage to their tissues. They can become weak. Thirst indicates the need to have the water replenished in their body, just like with us.
When sheep are thirsty, they become restless and start to go looking for water. If they are not led to pure, clean water; they will drink from dirty water holes where they can pick up parasites or other diseased germs. In regards to our spiritual thirst, Our Great Shepherd mentioned throughout Scripture that we can only be fully satisfied when our thirst for spiritual life is being quenched when we draw unto Him. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6
When Jesus said in John 7:37b, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink."; He was implying that a person needs to accept and take in the very life of Christ to the point that it becomes a part of that person. We need to have a thirst for God and that thirst can be satisfied through the pure, clean water from the Word of God.
So what did David mean when he said, "He leadeth me beside the still waters.", in verse 2b of Psalm 23? As a shepherd, David knew how important it was for his sheep to drink from the pure, clean water, which would come from the dew on the grass, deep wells and the streams. The dew from the grass was pure and clean, but in order to drink from that, the sheep would have to rise early when the dew first would appear as that was when it was the heaviest. When they would drink from the pure, clean water, their thirst was satisfied and they were able to be content and rest.
When a child of God rises early and starts their day off with the pure, clean water of God's Word, they too find themselves content and rested, confident to face whatever circumstance may come their way. I like to sleep, and so at times, I find it very hard to rise early to drink in the pure, clean water of my Great Shepherd's well. I then find myself at times "drinking" from other things, although they may be good, they are not as pure as the Word of God itself.
As I started writing this devotional for this painting, I didn't know where this was going to take me. I was continually asking the LORD to write through me and to show me what He wanted me to learn from it. I feel that not only did He write through me, but more importantly, He showed me that I need to rise early so that I too, may drink from that pure, clean dew that is waiting for me to take in. What better way to start my day, than to "drink" from the purest of water there is.
As you look at this painting, you can see the sheep's reflection in the water. It shows that the water is clean. As we look in our "water's" reflection, may we not see our image, but the Great Shepherd's instead. We need to be thirsting after the Shepherd for that is where we will find true rest!
In this special blog series, I painted Psalm 23 verse by verse, personalizing the verses from a sheep's devotion to their Great Shepherd. Each picture is painted on a roof slate with acrylic paint. There are a total of 12 blogs when completed.