He MAKES me lie down
He MAKES me lie down in green pastures. – Ps 23:2
We often hear from older generations that life used to be so much slower. For example, before the Industrial Revolution people walked instead of drove to get places so they had time together walking, talking and listening. Life on the farm didn’t seem to be such a frantic whirlwind of family activity. A young friend is teaching in Morogoro, Tanzania, and she tells of the slower pace of the culture there. If you meet someone when you are out walking it would be an offense to quickly buzz by them. Time for relationships is more important than deadlines. She has learned that you need to stop and converse with the person, extending hospitality and fellowship. She basically has to plan to have time to rest and “be” with someone on her way to her destination. Today we have technology at our fingertips that connects us to the world. We have drive-up coffee shops and fast food services. Sitting, enjoying, resting and being in the presence of someone is seemingly a fading act.
Psalm 23:2 always makes me stop and think. It doesn’t say “I lie down when I feel like it.” It says the Shepherd (God) MAKES me lie down. There’s a part of me that wishes He would do this more often. Slow-me-down’s from God aren’t always fun. Matter-of-fact, I’ve usually experienced them in the form of sickness and trials. So I’m not sure I really want Him to do it that way. But I wish more often I’d wake up fresh at 5:00 in the morning, an hour before my alarm, and be ready to spend time resting with Him.
Preciously, this morning is one of those mornings. 5:00 – awake, more awake with a cup of coffee and water splashed in my face. I could curl up in bed and read my book, but I’ve learned that this is precious time from God. Usually, it means that we’ll spend time together and since there is plenty of time before my day actually begins, I’ll be sharing my/His thoughts. And I can get completely absorbed in time with Him. Basking in His presence. Just being in His word and just resting with Him. I’m sitting in my office which faces east and watching a beautiful display of colors appear with the sunrise. Sometimes my times where God makes me lie down with Him are early in the morning, grabbing a camera and heading out to watch His wonderful creation once again. Ever changing, always creative, always consistent. I just enjoy BEING in God’s presence. Whether it’s in the beauty of the birds songs, the varieties of greens in the trees, the intricacies of the flowers, or His glorious sunrises, I KNOW I am in the presence of my miraculous, Almighty Lord.
James Schaap says, “[God] takes care of me [like sheep]. He makes me lie down in green pastures even when I don’t think of it. He takes care of me even when I don’t ask Him. He shepherds me even when I don’t shepherd myself. … The Lord God Almighty cares for me.” God cares about each one of us enough that He guides, leads, and provides for us quality quiet time with Him. We need to be receptive to His call.
Often when I watch a sunrise I remember the words to the song: “When morning gilds the skies, my heart awakening cries, ‘May Jesus Christ be Praised!'” It prompts me to take a deep breath, enjoy His beauty, rest in His presence and sing for joy in my heart. In The Quest for Serenity, G. H. Morling says, “I should endeavor to be silent unto God and should take time for that blessed culture. … when calm is upon the spirit, one is drawn out more readily in adoration. It is in the silence that the Father’s care, the Savior’s cleansing, and the Comforter’s strengthening are experienced, and worship becomes almost inevitable.”
Abundantly grateful for God MAKING ME lie down in His green pastures this morning ~ FayeWhen morning gilds the skies, My heart awaking cries: May Jesus Christ be praised! Alike at work and prayer To Jesus I repair: May Jesus Christ be praised! To Thee, my God above, I cry with glowing love, May Jesus Christ be praised! The fairest graces spring In hearts that ever sing, May Jesus Christ be praised! Does sadness fill my mind? A solace here I find, May Jesus Christ be praised! Or fades my earthly bliss? My comfort still is this, May Jesus Christ be praised! When evil thoughts molest, With this I shield my breast, May Jesus Christ be praised! The powers of darkness fear, When this sweet chant they hear, May Jesus Christ be praised! When sleep her balm denies, My silent spirit sighs, May Jesus Christ be praised! The night becomes as day, When from the heart we say, May Jesus Christ be praised! In heaven’s eternal bliss The loveliest strain is this, May Jesus Christ be praised! Let earth, and sea, and sky, From depth to height, reply, May Jesus Christ be praised! Be this, while life is mine, My canticle divine, May Jesus Christ be praised! Be this th’ eternal song Through all the ages long, May Jesus Christ be praised!
Words: From the Katholisches Gesangbuch (Würzburg, Germany: circa 1744) translated from German to English by Edward Caswall. Public Domain
Posted on May 22, 2012, in God's Blessings, Leading, Praising God and tagged Resting in God; Psalm 23:2; He makes me lie down; James Schaap; Slow-me-down from God; Be in God's presence. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.