Rest and Peace

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside still waters.

Psalm 23:2

Did you know that sheep will not drink from running water? They will only drink from quiet, still water. We are God’s sheep. He knows we will only hear His voice when we are still and quiet.

I’ve come to believe this based on observation and experience.

Why do we think we can feed our spirit when we are bombarded with a constant cacophony of chaos and commands for our attention?

As we unplug and find quiet spaces to listen and find joy in God’s handiwork, we allow ourselves the certainty and openness to hear His voice. We drink of His living water when we are distraction-free. We notice the small, mundane miracles in our everyday lives.

Robins Nest

Even Jesus needed to get away to be alone with his Father.

And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Matthew 14:23

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed. Mark 1:35

And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. Mark 6:46

But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. Luke 5:16

In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. Luke 6:12

We all have busy schedules, a list of To Dos. Too many times I’ve heard, “I don’t have time in my day to sit with God.” My heart aches at the bondage of this statement.

We do not remember the first commandment, the one Jesus said was the most important: “to love the Lord with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Mark 12:29-30)

We do not recall, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” (Psalm 24:1)

We forget, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:13-14)

Is our commitment to our relationship with God only honorable when it’s convenient? How can he lead us to still waters if we are inconstant friends?

He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed. Psalm 107:29

Does this sound familiar?

tpsdave allfreephotos.com

tpsdave allfreephotos.com

And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39

If Jesus can calm and bring peace to the wind and seas, will He fail to bring peace and calm to your heart?

There’s an old “Light Bulb” joke that goes,

“How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?”

Only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change.”

If you’re still wondering why your days are filled with disorder, and you haven’t a moment to breathe;

If you’re still telling yourself you’ll wait until Sunday to be filled because your other six days are already reserved;

If you’re running on empty and don’t know where your next refill will arrive;

empty

I pray you stop. Here and now.

Take back your time. Remember Whose you are. Give the time you’ve given away to the One gives you each twenty-four hour day. Let Him give you rest. Allow Him calm the waters inside you. Choose to begin your day anew with fresh mercies and His voice.

24 thoughts on “Rest and Peace

  1. Hi Susan,
    I didn’t know that about sheep…very interesting!
    Making time to sit with God isn’t my main problem, it’s focusing once I do it. My mind races around in circles. So my body is there, but my mind is traveling. Sigh.

    • Oh, Denise, mine does too. I’m an ADD adult. I let it wander until it comes back. That’s probably why my time in the morning stretches to about an hour. Thankfully, God is forgiving, and I’m certain He has the gentle humor of an indulgent parent. ;-)

  2. Great message. Beautifully written. Sometimes we need to stop for a moment and just embrace His goodness. Let His Word and His presence calms the storms that is raging in our souls.

  3. Another great post on the 23rd Psalm, Susan! And no I didn’t know that sheep wouldn’t drink running water, but that’s very interesting. I love the image of the green pasture and the still water and the thought that as we allow ourselves to lie in His presence He restoreth our souls. Hugs, Natalie :)

  4. “As we unplug and find quiet spaces to listen and find joy in God’s handiwork, we allow ourselves the certainty and openness to hear His voice. We drink of His living water when we are distraction-free. We notice the small, mundane miracles in our everyday lives.” Amen, well said! And this goes for noticing other people too. It’s amazing when we put down our phones how much is going on around us that we’re missing.

    • Please give yourself time and an open heart to do that, sweet friend. Let Him come close again. Let Him acknowledge all the unfairness of this life, and comfort you with all the incredible love and peace He has to give.

  5. What a beautiful reminder, Susan. Our Father tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10)

    When we are still, not only can we hear Him, but in the stillness is when we can know Him. The world around us clamors for our attention. It buzzes with billboards and sizzles with social media. The migraine-inducing noise numbs the mind and fills the time. Just the other day a dear friend told me she doesn’t have the time or energy to read her Bible. I ache for her and what she is missing. She has time for three or four hours of TV and status updates and tweets. But no time for God.

    God needs to be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in our lives. He IS our priority. We don’t need to schedule Him in to our lives. We need to schedule our lives around Him.

    Thank you so much for this truly wonderful post, Susan.

    • YES, I hear that all the time, too! Get up 20 minutes early, get off Facebook, put the phone down, establish reading time with your family. It’s tragic. And we wonder why we’re irritable and angry with each other.

      “God needs to be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in our lives. He IS our priority.” Thank YOU, Heather, for your thoughtful comment.

  6. “Is our commitment to our relationship with God only honorable when it’s convenient?”
    Go go go SIF!
    What a lovely post Susan: Allow Him. Choose. Remember. Will He fail. Unplug. Find quiet places. Feed.
    Slow … down … and go faster with Him!

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