The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
Psalm 23:1-2 (ESV)
Iwas eased into parenting with an easy first baby. Our daughter slept through the night from five weeks on, took naps consistently, and for the most part went with along my schedule. She played hard, but then would slowly wind down and tire out. I couldn’t understand what other parents complained about – this parenting gig was easy.
Then we had a boy. This little one was his own man from day one. “I do it!” was his mantra. I remember him managing to climb on the chairs and pull himself up to standing using the chandelier to hold onto BEFORE he could walk. As he got more and more tired, he’d get more and more ramped up. He’d often fall asleep hard in the middle of lamenting how he wasn’t tired!!
Now many years (and 3 more children) later, not much surprises me when it comes to parenting.
When I look at the comparison of my first two children I see myself. I long to be like my daughter. Taking things at a natural pace and listening to my internal rhythm. Yet, in truth, I am much more like my son. I go and go and go until I drop with exhaustion and then hit repeat and do it again. I’ve begun to notice a pattern. I’m not able to sustain the crazy pace I’ve set for myself.
Several times over the past year God has literally stopped me in my tracks. I suddenly was unable, physically or emotionally, to keep going. I was forced to rest
I was recently studying Psalm 23, which begins:
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
Did you catch it? He MAKES me lie down. He doesn’t suggest I lie down. He doesn’t offer it as a choice. He MAKES me lie down.
If you are in a season where you find yourself physically unable to keep “doing;” or if circumstances in your life suddenly change – a job is lost, a ministry role disappears and you find yourself in forced rest from busyness, I suggest you shift your perspective and see if maybe God is making you lie down. Maybe instead of a road block you’re actually in a green pasture where He’s making you rest.
He designed us to rest. It is good. It is holy. It is needed.
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