The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures. – Psalm 23:1-2a (NIV)
When they’re not preoccupied with grazing, sheep are very cautious creatures. In order to survive, sheep must stay alert, stay on their feet, and be prepared to outrun predators at any unsuspecting moment.
In order to lie down in green pastures, sheep must be free from the fear of imminent attack. Their minds must become so at rest that their bodies surrender to a posture of defenselessness. Only when sheep have utter confidence in the shepherd to keep them safe despite their defenseless posture, will they lie down in green pastures.
The quality of our rest and restoration is largely determined by the degree to which we trust God to shepherd our security. When we trust God enough to secure our victory, even when we find ourselves at our most vulnerable point we too will lie down in green pastures.
To be unwilling to place our security in the hands of the Good Shepherd is to forfeit our rest/restoration. And that forfeiture only makes us more susceptible to the ravages of predation.
Ever tried to concentrate on something important without having had proper rest for your mind?
Ever had to face a stressful situation without the proper restoration for your soul?
Ever found yourself under a surprise attack without the energy needed to properly respond because you’ve been emotionally and spiritually depleted?
Maybe it’s time that we all recognize the inadequacy of our own self sufficiency and lie down in the green pastures of God’s Blessed Assurance.
Lord, when the option to flee is not feasible and the option to fight is not viable, thank you for still being the Strength of my life. Amen.