He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. (Psalms 23:2)
This passage is a part of the most well-known Psalm and has summarized this season of my life. I actually didn’t want to share this until I knew it was concluded so, I sat on it for two months. It is my awareness that I’m closer to the end than the beginning that permits me to write about it now.
“He makes me” – or in other words – He made it so…He arranged and aligned the circumstances to befit this period.
“…lie down in green pastures” – he has ordained a season of rest, and in your rest he will provide, cover, and keep you.
“He leads me beside still waters” – often times life can be tumultuous and you don’t know if you are coming or going or know which way is up/down, right/left. But when you are placed near still waters there is Peace. I used to work near a lake and one day I was walking in the morning and there was barely a ripple going across the surface and I began to sing “when peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrow like sea billows roll, whatever my lot thou has taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul”. Peace will settle your heart and mind when the enemy expects you to be anxious and confused. You can rest in the Peace of God.
Here are just a few captions of what this season of rest has looked like for me:
- He made it so that I would lie down (or rest) in the place of my provision, the place where my trust in him is stretched to believe continually that all I need, he will provide.
- He made it so that I would find rest. Exhaustion can come in many forms: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional. Rest is the only remedy for it.
- He made it so that I would reflect on the beauty of His goodness.
- He made it so that I would regain my strength and focus.
- He made it so that I would be still and know that He was God alone.
- He made it so that I would explore and accept who he has made me to be… I’ve asked myself “God, is this what you had in mind”? I strive to be the finished concept He has pre-designed.
- He made it so that the sun would illuminate the shadows of my life, so I would not be afraid.
- He made it so that I would learn to hear His voice again, to look for the messages in the simplicity of life.
- He made it so that I would go from running to rest.
- He made it so that I would no longer be a passive bystander of my life. And in order to do that, challenge the mentality that keeps my mind from being free.
Rest culminates the end and preludes the beginning. It is an ordinance of God – on the seventh day, or completion, He rested.
I will cherish this time that many do not get, God really does hear our prayers and answers our requests.Whatever you’re doing that is not invigorating you, not effective, not efficient, not exciting may very well be an indication that you are on the verge of burnout or a system overload.
Rest prepares you for the next season,the next moment, the next experience that is to come. As with soil and crops, good planters know when the soil needs rest in order to maximize the production for the next harvest. As I am on this fitness journey with my husband, I had taken about a 3 day rest unintentionally last week, and when I returned to the track I was able to go further than I had in all the previous weeks.
Recharge, Renew, Restore, Regain, Reignite, Reinvest, Reset…. All of those things require Rest – a time to press Restart; a time to Reboot the system. God’s timing is perfect.