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He makes me lie down

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This morning we looked at Psalm 23. This is one of the psalms that I could probably recite by memory. But this morning, on my way to church, a phrase stood out to me as if I had never heard it before – “he makes me lie down”.

Not “he invites me to lie down” or “he asks me to lie down”. Rather, he makes me.

This week I have been wrestling with insomnia and being overcommitted. I’ve been grumpy and frustrated and tired. I’ve come to see that I really haven’t made much progress on two points. One – I am a work-aholic. and two – I can’t say no.

the first one has served me well as I’ve achieved good grades while working two jobs. I’ve burned the candle at both ends to offer my best. And the latter hasn’t been all that bad lately as I’ve been able to fit everything in.

But this weekend, I have double booked myself two evenings in a row. All because I couldn’t say no. I hate disappointing people. I hate letting people down. So I say yes.

It’s not fully true that I don’t know how to say no… I’ve said no to the very things that I have been looking forward to ALL month because I’m just plain too exhausted. I think that is mostly why I’m frustrated today. Frustrated that in order to keep up my work-aholic and status, I forgo the things that give me strength and refresh me.

it is with that frustration that I engaged today’s psalm.

I think for people like me, I need God to make me – to force me – to lie down. Cause all on my own, I won’t. I’ll find things to fill my time. I will cave and quickly give over my time to refresh me. My body is telling me it cannot do anymore. So I’ve pumped it with caffeine to get through. But I’m exhausted and feel that I have nothing to give in this state.

I need to lie down. I need my soul to be restored. somehow I’ve missed that. I need rest. in green pastures. to allow me to walk through the valleys. I need to be made to lie down.

The above picture was made by a six year old boy. It is a prayer of thanksgiving for God providing for him. High on his priority list was baseball.

I think there is wisdom in that. We need things that are recreational – re-creational. Things that refresh and restore us.

May I learn to lie down in the pastures – just because – leaving aside all else. Even if it is just for a few moments. May I value the restoration of my soul as this little boy values baseball and the joy that brings him.

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