This has been an exciting week for me. Weeks of preparation were completed and it was time to go live with the new website. However, in the last few days things have become a bit crazy; there are more tasks than time, it seems. Added to that, we have had numerous storms with another big storm hitting yesterday, knocking me off-line again, which meant I had to re-do the work I had lost. Finally, I picked up my coffee cup, turned my chair around and looked out my office window at the birds playing in the rain. Time to get perspective.
As I looked out the window, I was once again hit with these thoughts and words, “I really do love my work!” There are times I am in awe that the Lord has called me to be a writer, it is truly humbling. But there are times, maybe just like you, when that rewarding feeling that comes from hard work and doing your best becomes overshadowed as things begin to pile up. Then a different feeling begins to creep in, when the scales becomes off-balance, leaving little time, energy and resources to accomplish all that needs accomplished.
Part of life is dealing with the unpredictable. The unforeseeable events in life will always be with us. But it is also knowing when to stop! And I do mean STOP! Halting long enough to let your mind, body and soul restore. Instead, what we often do is become so busy, so problem oriented, that whatever is occurring around us becomes the focus, often causing exhaustion of our heart, mind, body and soul. When you find yourself in this place, and I do believe we all end up there from time to time, there is a place of comfort, a place to rejuvenate, a place to restore your soul.
23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
This place of rest can be found in the 23rd Psalms. Why did the Lord invite us to this place? I wonder if He didn’t know how busy we would become and how we would try to problem solve beyond our own abilities. But in truth, I do wonder if the real reason is because He WANTS to be our Shepherd.
Psalm 23:1 begins, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Immediately what stands out is the Lord makes it personal, He wants to be “my” Shepherd. This means each of us are unique and He wants to spend time just with us. Next, when we come to Him and rest we do not need to bring anything, think of anything or even want anything: we are free of the weight these “wants” put on us. “I shall not want.” He is all we need. Isn’t that refreshing?
Then, in verse 2, “He makes me lie down.” Why? I suspect it is because we have exhausted ourselves. Many times, if you love what you do, you can forget to keep things balanced. We can forget to rest. The Lord is there to remind us, “He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.” We can use our imagination to see the green pastures, and to see the beauty of the still waters. It encourages us to slow down and to be still, even if it is for a short amount of time. But it is the first part of verse 3 that I come to again and again, “He restores my soul.” To me it is restoration after He has gotten my attention: after He has reminded me to STOP!
So today, or any day, if you come to a place where you want to stop for a while and just rest: He will be there. If things have piled up to the point you know your mind and your heart needs clarity of the soul: He will be there. He is always where you are. Just ask, He longs for you to say:
The Lord is my Shepherd
I shall not want
He makes me lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside still waters
He restores my soul.