Relief, a sigh of. The noun is the alleviation, ease, or deliverance through the removal of pain, distress, oppression …” Sometimes we don’t realize how tense, unpleasant, stressful a situation is until it is released from us. Then, we feel the relief. Relief is a thing we can hope for, and, I believe, count on.
Take Psalm 23, one of the most known and quoted scriptures. You make know from its beginning, “The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want …” You may have heard it at times of grief or times of trouble.
In it, is the promise of relief. The promise. The certainty. Psalm 23 contains the following affirmations of times of rest and reprieve.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures.”
“He leads me beside quiet waters.”
“He restores my soul.”
In this scripture, we are told there is relief. God brings us to places of rest and revival. Like sheep who fight this resting, we are prone to overlook the relief that is all around us. Even temporarily we can feel relief even if not a complete absence of pain, at least a respite.
Relief originates in the late 14th Century — “alleviation of distress, hunger, sickness — from the Anglo-French relif, from the Old French relief “assistance,” literally “a raising, that which is lifted,” from stressed stem of relever.
In reviewing Psalm 23, we can learn to bask in the green pastures, relax by the still waters, restore ourselves to true form. Not so literally, we can find windows of opportunity to be led to a place that offers relief to us — our bed covered with comforters, our kitchen table set with a meal, our yard ripe with late season flowers.
In these places, we can give credit to the Creator. We can think of the following verse also contained in Psalm 23:
“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”