God as He Longs for You to See Him – Part 2
“He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He restores my soul;”
Everyone needs rest. Our bodies are fragile. Our physical and emotional resources are limited. Try as we might to assert our strength and stamina, reality is unavoidable. Each and every day, humans have to stop, close our eyes, and sleep. There is no such thing as a life without rest. The consequences of too little rest are inescapable. We break down. We wear out. We burnout. In today’s passage, we learn to see God as our Resting Place.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. That’s an odd phrase isn’t it? He “makes” me lie down. As a reluctant sheep, I don’t want to lie down. I don’t want to rest beside quiet waters. The image is reminiscent of a parent trying to coerce an unwilling toddler into an afternoon nap. The child is adamant that he or she is just fine, but mom and dad know better. They feel good now, but later tonight, they will be a holy terror!
We don’t always know what is best for us. In our stubbornness and pride, we declare our fighting independence and dig in our heels. I do not need to slow down! I do not need to rest! And I certainly do not need anyone’s help! And Jesus as our Good Shepherd makes us lie down because He knows what we need better than we do.
What do you think a serene pasture and cool water mean to weary sheep? Imagine how a day of rest “restores” the sheep back to life. And this is what David says we find in God, who Himself is our Resting Place.
Holy Father, thank you for caring so deeply about my well-being that you would lead my life to the good and necessary places. Give me ears to hear the voice of my Shepherd and grant me a willing spirit to follow where you guide and to rest when I am weary. May I find strength for my soul in your restoring grace and mercy. Amen.