The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. Psalm 23:1-2 KJV
On arriving at Life Care Center on Friday, I was elated to learn that the Covid restrictions which had kept the dining room closed to our meeting had been lifted. Though that was great news both for me and the residents, it did leave me without my standard preparation for a nursing home service. You see, over the last five weeks, I had simply played a couple of hymns and prayed with people as I was escorted from one private room to another. Now I stood in the front, with no Bible or even a short message prepared.
So, I shot up a short, but sincere prayer, “What do I do?”, then opened my guitar case, smiled and greeted our little flock. As He has done so many times before the Lord reminded me that He had sent me to the nursing home, not because of anything amazing about myself, but because of His amazing love for them. Then as the song portion of our service came to an end, I began to share a simple message from one of the only chapters of the Bible I know by heart: Psalm 23. I call this God’s 3-Peace suit.
The first peace is like the trousers of a suit, because it is the first to go one. This is the peace of the blessings of green pastures. This is the peace most of us like the best. Blue skies, sunny days and a peaceful quiet place in life. “It doesn’t get any better than this!” we exclaim. But wait there’s more! Oh yes, there is so much more to God’s peace than this place.
Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 KJV
This second peace of the suit is our vest and says, that we are getting ready for a serious occasion. The funny thing about the second peace is that we forget about it until we need it. It’s like going out for a walk on the first cold day of winter. One step out the door, and as the chilly wind pierces through our summer clothes, we run back inside to grab our jacket. In the darkness of the valley, God gives us His comfort, and we discover a peace far deeper than the one we had in that green pasture. In the middle of our problems, God gives us this second peace of His suit which the world can’t give us and it certainly will never be able to take away.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever! Psalm 23:6 KJV
The third peace of God’s suit is like the jacket, and God has saved His best for last. At the end of our faith journey, we come to the place that Jesus has prepared for us. This is far better than a mansion over the hilltop. It is a room in His Father’s house which is waiting for us. There we will get to experience His amazing peace and His loving presence in green pastures and at banqueting tables for all eternity! Now that is a 3-peace suit worth living for!