Four simple words. He restores my soul. But what do they mean? As a child, I had a vague picture of peace because of the previous verse in Psalm 23 – green pastures, sheep and cows grazing on the grass – still waters, easy to dip my toes into. So restoring my soul must have something do with the peaceful scene in my mind.
Does your child have that same sense of peace?
Theoretical Conversation #5
You: Do you know what a soul is?
Kid: Well… it’s kind of like the inside part of me.
You: Like your stomach or your lungs?
Kid (giggling): No. If I had an operation and you looked inside me, you couldn’t see my soul. It’s invisible.
You: How do you know it’s there if you can’t see it?
Kid: I just do. It’s what makes me me.
You: So no matter how you change on the outside – get fat, get skinny, stay blond or grow up and have brown hair, your soul is still you?
Kid: Yeah. You could cut off my arms and legs, and nose and ears. I’d still have my soul.
You: You’re right, but let’s not go there. What a horrible thought!
Kid (rubbing hands together): Blood and guts!
You: Change of subject. The verse says the Shepherd restores your soul. What is “restore?”
Kid: I don’t know. We store stuff in the basement, but I don’t think that’s the same. Where would you store a soul except inside yourself?
You: You have a point about your soul stored inside of you, but if you restore something, you take what’s old or broken and fix it to make it like new.
Kid: My soul isn’t broken or old. I’m only eight.
You: No, but if you get mad or scared, do you feel all squirmy inside like you wish you could run and run and run because you can’t stand to stay still?
Kid: Or I want to punch somebody.
You: A lot of people feel like that. They’ve lost that peace from the green pasture and still water. They need to get back there. Then their soul would feel like new, all calm and happy again.
Kid: But I thought the sheep kept walking beside the still water. Why aren’t they peaceful?
You: Sheep wander away sometimes.
Kid: Oh yeah. That other story about Jesus leaving 99 sheep to go look for the one that got lost.
You: And I bet when Jesus finds that lost sheep, it’s happy to have a drink of water and feel safe again.
Kid: The sheep got restored!
You: So when you get all upset about something, how can your soul get restored?
Kid: I guess I just “baa” until Jesus finds me and takes me back to the still waters so I can have a good, long drink.
And Junior has reminded us how much we need our Shepherd. We stay lost and agitated without Him. Do I hear any “baas?”