Now is the time to peak into my journal entry for the day as a follow-up to my recent devotional post. Get excited! Ok. Not that excited. It’s not really from my own personal journal. 😉
Allow me to confess here: Lying down in green pastures is not really easy. It is only easy if you fully trust, but let’s be honest here. Nobody really trusts that completely right away. At least very few people I’ve met in my life seem to have this trust thing down. I certainly don’t.
When is the time to rest? Usually, for normal people with normal day time jobs, night time is the time to lie down. For us, as Christians,
when is the time to lie down?
I can’t tell you all the times in my life where the Lord seems to literally force me to lie down. I had no other choice. So I went down, but not without a fight. Call it pride and/or a desire for self-reliance. I wanted to figure things out for myself rather than rely on the wisdom of God, or I wanted to be in control. Either way a fight ensued to get me to lie down and relax!
Circumstances sometimes dictate a need to let go, because as the circumstance will reveal, you’re not in control like you thought you were. Things happen. Life happens and it throws you for a loop. You have no idea how to get out of the situation. All you know is you have no control over what is happening. You are completely at the mercy of God.
If you’re like me, your mind is constantly rolling around ideas, trying to look at the situation from all angles. (If you read my “About” page, you know my claim to using both sides of my brain at times, which brin
gs a war in my head! Oy vey! Most of the time though, I’m right-sided.) My left brain kicks into high-gear, and I’m using logic to figure things out. I analyze everything. If you’re like me, then you know this is an exhausting exercise.
Once I finally wear myself out, I lie down. “OK, God, You can take control.”
I wonder if this is why the writer of Hebrews says “to strive to enter into the rest of God (Hebrews 4:11 ESV).” Strive? Why strive? The word strive seems to indicate a need for some effort on our end. Why does it takes some effort for us to enter into God’s rest?
My guess is probably because we have the tendency to pick up “our work”. At least I do. I keep trying to work to please God instead of
resting in the knowledge that He has provided everything I need. I struggle with believing that I am accepted in the Beloved. There’s is nothing I can do to earn God’s favor or make Him love me more than He already does. Likewise, there is nothing I can do to make Him love me less.
(Additional caption for photo on the right: Now that’s what I call striving to rest! haha! 🙂 )
I must strive to stop working. Strive to stop achieving God’s favor and love. Stop trying to earn His blessings and receive. I must fight these tendencies to control God and get Him to do what I want. He has already provided all I need. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Amen?
Yes, He makes me to lie down in green pastures, and I am thankful there are times I don’t have a choice, because it reminds me who really is in control. It is God who is in complete control. He sees the bigger picture of my life. He knows where I’m headed, though I can hardly see two feet in front of me. Pretty much, I see no other choice but to trust Him to lead me to those still waters through the path of His choice for my life until He brings me to that final rest in Him at the end. My work is to practice lying down now.
When is the time to lie down? Now. Now is the time to learn to rest.