The LORD is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He refreshes my soul (Psalm 23:1-3, NLT).
Friend to Friend
When Jered came home from school each day, Dallas would greet him at the door and follow him wherever he went. When Jered did homework, Dallas curled under the desk. When Jered ran an errand, Dallas rode shotgun. Dallas instinctively knew that the only place he would find genuine rest was at the feet of his master. The same is true in our lives.
But … I am not very good at this rest thing.
Life is so daily and often filled with uncertainty, a reality that can make me very nervous. I want to know what the plan is and how that plan is going to be implemented. Details! I need details!
Instead, God calls me to leave the details up to Him and rest. I don’t want to rest. When I rest, I feel guilty. I have places to go, people to see, and important things to do.
But I hear the quiet whisper of the One who knows me best and loves me most, “Mary, it is time to rest.” I have tried to ignore that whisper more times than I care to admit, but it is only a temporary maneuver on my part.
The Lord is my Shepherd and is well acquainted with the antics of stubborn sheep like me. He will lovingly make me lie down in green pastures and firmly lead me beside quiet waters. Why? He wants to refresh my soul. He wants me to experience the peace that can only be found at His feet.
Rest is not really an option. It is a spiritual discipline that we need to make a spiritual habit in our life.
Elijah is a great example of a man in need of rest. One day he was the conquering hero, but the next time we see him, he is sitting under a Juniper tree, begging God to let him die. The poor man was simply exhausted.
Jezebel was the evil and influential wife of Ahab, King of Israel. Jezebel was fanatical in her worship of the pagan god, Baal, and tried to impose her beliefs on the people of Israel. One man stood in her way – Elijah.
When Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to a showdown on Mount Carmel, God answered Elijah’s prayer with a stream of fire from heaven. Ahab and Jezebel were not impressed. And Jezebel was furious. When she learned what had happened on Mt. Carmel, she put a contract out on Elijah.
Now stop and think about that for a moment.
Elijah had been in the presence of God. God answered Elijah’s prayer in a powerful way. Idols had fallen. The prophets of Baal had either fled or been destroyed. And Elijah is worried about one angry woman? Seriously?
Elijah was simply tired and needed to rest. He found that rest while sitting under a Juniper tree, waiting in silence for God to show up.
Many of us have bought into the lie that who we are is based on what we do or don’t do. We fill every waking moment with something or someone in order to prove our worth. After all, we must be worthy if we are doing worthy things, right?
Truth: Busyness does not always equal productivity.
Fact: The busier we are the more rest we need.
Our worth rests in God alone. Period. What we do or don’t do has no effect on God’s love for us.
We need to learn how to stop, wait in silence, and rest until God shows up.
Father, thank You for the promise of rest we find in You. It seems like I am always tired, and every step is hard. Please forgive me when I turn to You as a last resort instead of running to You first. Today, I turn to You, Lord, for rest.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now it’s Your Turn
Read Job 33:26. Notice every “action” word in this verse. What does God
promise when we choose to apply the steps He outlines in this verse?
More from the Girlfriends
We can’t eliminate stress, but we can learn to control stress before it controls us. My book, Escaping the Stress Trap, transforms the promises of the Twenty-third Psalm into easy-to-implement, practical steps to practice stress management. Included is a study guide that is ideal for both personal and small group studies.
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