Read His Words Before Ours!
I had to sit and meditate on this verse for a long time.
I read every commentary you could imagine.
I read and reread the entire 23th Psalm.
I thought about it all throughout the week, and still, I hadn’t had that, “AHA!” moment.
But I think I’ve started to figure out why.
As I sit at my favorite table at my favorite cafe just a few blocks from my house, the Spirit pokes at my heart… “when have you felt the Lord make you lie down in green pastures?”
What moments in my life can I look back, and without a doubt, say there, He made me lie down? As those moments begin to flash in my memory, I realize that for some of those, I didn’t want to lie down. He literally had to make me.
When my twin daughters were born, six weeks premature, and spent two weeks in the NICU, it was one of the most trying times of my life. If you’d told me God was making me lie down in green pastures, I would’ve snickered and rolled my eyes.
But, almost three years removed, I can look back and say that He was there,
holding me, making me lay down and rest.
Providing for me.
Being my sufficiency.
I had hours upon hours to sit and hold my sweet girls, without being interrupted by the daily demands of trying to keep a house clean, prepare meals, or follow a newborn schedule. And while God never wants to His children hurting or suffering, sometimes He allows it.
The very good God allowed my babes to spend time in the NICU, and in it, He showed His goodness by making me lie down.
When my youngest daughter was hospitalized twice last year, again, I was forced to rest and be in the moment. Jesus was making me lie down in green pastures. I wouldn’t have seen it then. I’m not sure I would’ve seen it a week ago. But I see it now. Had I been offered those chances of rest, I wouldn’t have taken them. Which is why He had to MAKE me lie down.
But the other part of that verse is just as crucial as the first… “in green pastures”.
He wanted to feed me, good and nutrient-rich food.
The Bread of Life.
Who is essential for life.
God was giving me that time to be fed, to learn to fully rely and trust in HIM, to take Him in, and soak in His promises of love and protection.
It reminds me of one of my favorite songs, “Blessings” by Laura Story.
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family
Protection while we sleep
We pray for healing
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering.
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much, to give us lesser things.
What if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re here?
What if trials of this life, are Your mercies in disguise?
And here I am, crying all over again as I think about the trials I’ve faced in my life. What if God used the moments created by this fallen world, to show me His blessings, His mercies, and to make me lie down in green pastures?
As I think about this coming year for me… a year I’ve dubbed my year of living “simply”.
Simplifying my wardrobe.
Simplifying the amount of things in my pantry, closets and drawers.
Simply serving more by writing more notes and preparing more meals for people.
Simply reducing the input I receive from social media.
Simply eating a more balanced diet.
Simply finding joy in the little things.
Every time when the Father was making me lie down in green pastures…
He was helping me simplify my life so I can spend more time with Him.
As I’m striving for simplicity, I now see myself as trying to lay down in those green pastures. Maybe this year, God won’t have to “make” me. Rephrase that to… prayerfully, if I listen to what God is calling me to, He won’t have to make me lie down because I already am.
Ready for the rich and nutrient-filled grass that I can freely feast on when I’m in green pastures.
And there it was… my “AHA!” moment.
It came as these words flew from my fingertips because I was writing what the Lord was speaking to my soul…
an invitation to come away, feast on Him, and know Him more deeply.
Not overrun or overruled by my busyness.
Rather, an invitation for me to lie down and rest.
It is so simple.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!