Safe in His Arms – by Vicki Winans
Because the Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need!
He lets me rest in the meadows grass And He leads me besides the quiet stream.
He restores my failing hands And helps me to do what honors him the most
That’s why I’m safe
I feel so safe
That’s why I’m safe
Safe in His arms
When the storm of life is raging, And the billows roll
So glad He shall hide me, Safe in His arms
As I sat to think and meditate on the next verses in the My Journey with the Shepherd series, this song, “Safe in His Arms” immediately came to my mind. So much so, I had the song on repeat ALL…DAY…LONG! I couldn’t get past the words in the song and so I just followed the rabbit trail that I believe the Lord was leading me on. I reflected on my life and was enamored by the fact that the Lord truly protected me from MANY dangers seen and unseen. I began to feel an extreme gratitude to the Lord and the reality set in that I really am precious to the Lord! (See Isaiah 43:1-7…another blog moment for another day…SMILE!)
There are a couple of points in the lyrics of this song that I would like to emphasize as we study the significance of verses 2 and 3 in Psalm 23:
- The song starts off with a very powerful word that sets the stage for everything else that follows: BECAUSE!!! The words that come after that powerful 7 letter word gives us the reason behind why we have everything we have and why we do everything we do. It is in HIM that we live and move and have our being (See Acts 17:28) And all BECAUSE the Lord is our Great Shepherd…
- We have EVERYTHING we need…see part 1 of this series
- We can Rest
- We are Refreshed
- We are Restored
- We are made Righteousness
- The song then reminds us that when we allow the Lord to be our Shepherd and we follow after Him, we find ourselves SAFE in His Arms! God promises to hide us under the shadow of his wings as Psalm 91 so eloquently reminds us. We can take refuge in Him! He is our mighty fortress and nothing can come close to harming us! He even charged His angels to protect us! We can trust Him with our lives and when we do, we find that He takes us to places that are going to feed us, satisfy us, meet our needs, and even give us some of our wants. Because He cares for us, He will withhold no good thing from us (See Psalm 84:11) and as our Shepherd, rest and peace are important “good things” that He wants to be incorporated in our lives on a consistent basis. God puts emphasis on us Resting in the meadows grass…rest is very significant in God’s eyes. As a matter of fact, God rested on the seventh day (See Genesis 1:2-3) and He commands His people to honor a Sabbath and keep it Holy. (See Exodus 20:8) When we set aside time to Rest in Him, we find God’s blessings, we are able to shift our perspective on life easily and our ability to tackle hard, difficult, even the abundantly insurmountable things life can bring seems attainable, doable, accomplish-able…SMILE!
KJV – He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
NIV – He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
AMP – He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
MSG – You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from.
NLT – He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
CEV – You let me rest in fields of green grass. You lead me to streams of peaceful water,
Let’s do an exercise…Think about a time where you found yourself just ripping and running, doing all the time and barely finding a time to eat let alone sleep, even when you do sleep, your mind is racing and so you wonder if you slept at all. Think about a time when the anxiety was so overwhelming and you found yourself worrying more and more as the days forged ahead. Think about a time where you were looking for answers and freedom from some daunting situations yet no solution seemed to be in sight. Do you have that mental picture? I don’t know about you, but when I find myself in this type of mental state, I am not a happy camper, I can even be likened to a cranky child. Just unhinged by any and everything that happens to me. Nothing satisfies my thoughts and feelings, therefore, I begin to whine and complain about everything. It is then, I recognize that I need to GO TO BED! Sort of how mothers tell their children to take a nap when they start getting cranky and tired…SMILE! When our mind’s meditations go toward the overwhelming situation, we become like the cranky kid and our Lord is telling us to go rest ourselves for a little bit. It is in these times that the Lord MAKES us go to the meadow; essentially, He is telling us to go take a nap!
The meadows grass gives us a chance to recalibrate ourselves. Don’t you notice when the child finally wakes up from his/her nap, they are back to their sweet little selves and all’s right with the world again?!? SMILE! Now that we are acting like ourselves again and we have rested our weary selves and emptied our hearts of all the worries, doubts, and fears, our Good Good Shepherd LEADS us to a place of quiet, stillness, and peace where we can be”rehydrated,” “refilled,” and “relieved” from everything that was sucking us dry! It is in this place that we get to KNOW God (See Psalm 46) for who His. This is the time that He can fill us with His truth, His love, His grace and as we learn more about Him, it causes us to feel a sense of peace in knowing that we have nothing to worry, we have nothing to fear, because we are in the arms of the Shepherd and in Him we are Safe!
- The songstress leads us into the Climax/Hook of the song with another powerful word that we should pay attention to: WHEN!!! Have you ever found yourself saying/thinking “It makes no sense!!! Why is this happening to me?!?!?!” “I did everything right! Why am I in the predicament that I am in?!?!” “I didn’t do anything wrong, why am I suffering like this?!?!?!” If your answer is yes to any or all of those scenarios…it’s okay! It is our natural inclination to feel this way, especially in times where the obstacle comes unexpectedly; however, the sobering reality is that we are not exempt from hardship because we are children of God. On the contrary, the word tells us that in this life we will have trouble but then it also reminds us that we can have peace in knowing that the Lord overcame it all! (See John 16:33). So that wonderful keyword in the song…WHEN…is a perfect reminder that the storms and billows WILL COME and they won’t be cute or calm or quiet!!! Quite drastically, they will be raging and rolling! They are going to come in forcefully with the intentions of trampling us, defeating us, killing us, destroying us. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? What if we fail? What if the circumstance becomes our “new normal”? What if we have to give up some things that we rely on? What if we have to change?!?! The list of what ifs can go on and on and on….and then Psalm 23:3 comes in to call our attention to the fact that with God as our Shepherd we are restored and made righteous in His sight.
KJV – He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
NIV – … he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
AMP – He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
MSG – True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
NLT – He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
CEV – …and you refresh my life. You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths.
A few years ago, I went through a very difficult, traumatizing season of life. Life’s circumstances at the time caused me to live in a constant state of anxious thoughts. I was a mental, emotional, and physical wreck. I was filled with worry, fear, and dread EVERY DAY. I wasn’t sleeping or eating for days on end. Anxiety was my daily meal and on that diet, I lost a considerable amount of weight at an unhealthy accelerated rate. My soul was dying a slow death. The word soul comes from an ancient Greek word meaning “to breathe” Let’s just say I wasn’t breathing nor did I feel that I had room to breathe! I was under so much pressure and at any moment I felt like I was going to blow! Actually, one time, I was so overwhelmed to the point where I thought I was having a heart attack and a co-worker took me to the hospital. We found out later that is was nothing but gas (SMILE!) coupled with a panic attack…I never experienced something like that before…talk about a scary feeling! And honestly, as scary as it was…it became a repeated occurrence every now and then as I endured this season. Something had to change…my soul was suffering in a major way and it was affecting every aspect of my life. The storms were raging and the billows were rolling and I was disappearing. My mental abilities were compromised affecting my character, my reasoning, my perception, my thinking, my feelings, etc. Sharnice as everyone knew me was slowly becoming something that didn’t show that the Lord was my Shepherd. I walked around feeling defeated, guilty, and ashamed.
Psalm 23 verse 3 gives me so much comfort as I reflect over that time and how the Lord brought me out of that season. He truly RESTORED my soul! I am refreshed! I am renewed! I am free! I am unbound! I can BREATHE again! The Lord took me on a journey of healing and restoration! After I laid in the “meadows grass”…literally…I slept for three days…SMILE! and I drank in the “quiet stream” as the Lord revealed to me who I am and what He thinks about me, I found myself feeling refreshed and renewed in my relationship with the Lord. It was in the moment that I realized that even when I mess up, even when I find myself in situations that could have been avoided, even when I allowed fear to paralyze me, even when I don’t act and behave in a manner that declares that I am a soldier in the Lord’s Army who believes His promises wholeheartedly and follows Him with unwavering faith, and the list goes on with evidence as to why the Lord should be sooo disappointed in me…the Lord STILL LOVES ME! The Lord still fights for me! The Lord still calls me to draw nigh to Him! The Lord STILL calls me HIS OWN!!!!!
After this season in my life, Jeremiah 31:3 became my life verse and a declaration that brought such healing to my soul and gave me a renewed strength to keep pressing in the name of the Lord! It is because of His love for me that I am able to trust Him and follow Him down every path He leads me on….FOR HIS NAME SAKE! That means that even when the path leads me on a journey that doesn’t feel so great..because My Shepherd sent me and is with me on that path, I have strength, I have courage, and I am confident in the Righteousness that my Lord bestows upon me. (uh oh! I better stop right there…I feel another blog coming on…SMILE!!! Psalm 23:4 is coming soon!!!) It is because of His unfailing, steadfast, and everlasting love toward me that I am able to follow MY Shepherd all the days of my life!
Here is a video that took me into deep places of reflection as I studied this verse. I pray it is a blessing to you!
We would love to hear your thoughts on this beautiful verse…drop a line in the comments below! God Bless!