May 18, 2009
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters, he restores my soul.” Psalm 23:2-3 (NIV)
What kind of pressured situations do you face? Is it the constant stress of trying to make ends meet? Perhaps discontentment is the villain that adds pressure to your life? For me, it varies. I feel most stressed in being a wife and mother. There are days where it seems that everybody needs me all at once! Do you ever feel like the whole world is gathered at your door demanding your time and attention?
The most stressful hour of the day for me is shortly after the kids arrive home from school. It’s when the chaos begins. There is homework to do, dinner to prepare, and baseball and dance practice to attend. When the pressure is more than I can handle, I panic. I panic because I don’t have enough of me to go around! Suddenly, it’s as if horns pop out of my head knocking my heavenly halo to the ground. This is what’s called, “blowing your top.” It happens when you and I are under pressure.
Something else happens when we feel the demands of life pressing in as well. We become annoyed by the very people we love most. I don’t want to live this way, and neither do you.
The truth is the pressure and responsibility of caring for so many can drain me. I get tired and worn out. David got tired too. His job was just as stressful as ours as he protected, guided, and tended to his sheep. How did David manage? He looked to his Good Shepherd for rest and the Lord provided. “He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters, he restores my soul” (Psalm 23:2-3).
It’s important for us to rest, but do we? Can we? Perhaps you find it difficult to sleep at night because of the stress that plagues you. Sometimes, I lie awake making out my to-do list in my mind. In the morning, I wake up as tired as when I went to bed. The real problem is I didn’t get enough sleep. The average person needs seven to eight sound hours of sleep a night, but most people only get five, six or seven hours of restless sleep. When we have insomnia we may turn to faulty methods for rest such nightcaps. Sometimes exhaustion takes over in the form of a cold or flu and we’re forced to rest.
God has a better plan to relieve our stress. The Lord leads us to “lie down in green pastures” in order to revive and refresh us emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
Whenever I think of green pastures, I think of warm summer days when my dad and I would lie down on the soft green grass in the yard. We didn’t have a care in the world. We simply rested and discussed the floating clouds hanging in the sky. Perhaps your green pasture is a quiet moment in your favorite chair, a walk on the beach, or curling up in bed with a good book.
The truth is, God never put us in charge of everything, just certain assignments. While the stress and pressures of our duties can deplete us, God has not left us empty. He desires to refill all of our dry places so we have supply for tomorrow. The secret is stealing away with God to places of unending rest.
Dear Lord, I often feel guilty taking time for myself. Today, I understand that this is Your plan for me. Help me to rest. Guard my time and help me manage my responsibilities so that I can renew myself emotionally, spiritually, and psychically each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Where do you find relaxation—in a bubble bath; by taking a walk; gardening; visiting a spa or taking a nap? Plan to rest each day even if it’s only 10-15 minutes. It will do wonders for your stress and recharge your batteries.
Are you getting enough downtime to recharge? If not, how can you change that?
Do you sometimes feel guilty when you do rest? Could this be a sign that you’re doing too much?
Palms 62:1, “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.” (NIV)
Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (NIV)
© 2009 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 18 May 2009.