I opened my E-mails this morning to read the devotional I start the day with. It was about reading Scripture with fresh eyes, and it asked me to read a familiar passage from the Bible in a new translation, as if I was reading God’s love-letter for the very first time.
I didn’t want to put it off for later, so I went online and looked at Psalm 23. In the Amplified Bible, there’s a footnote at the end about verse 5, where it says God anoints the Psalmist’s head with oil. I knew it was the custom when somebody visited to pour oil on their head, to make them welcome, so when I read that verse, I’ll usually think how good it is that I’m welcomed by God, but today I learnt something new. In hot climates, the footnote said, people’s bodies were anointed with oil to protect them from excessive perspiration and, mixed with perfume, it gave a refreshing, invigorating sensation. Athletes poured oil on their bodies before they ran a race, to better fit them for action and so, in the same way, God anoints us with His Holy Spirit.
So now, when I read Psalm 23:5, I can remember not only that God welcomes me, but also that He refreshes me and renews my strength.
Have you let God invigorate you lately?