The Purposeful Quiet Water

I’ve been “stuck in” Psalm 23 for a week now. Honestly, I am not a big fan of Psalm 23 because it feel so worn out and cliché. But recently I can’t escape it. Given everything that we have going on – all the appointments and forms, classes and lesson plans – just the idea of the peace and rest described in Psalm 23 is mesmerizing. Take verses 1-2:

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet water.

                                        Psalm 23:1-2

He MAKES me lie down, He leads me by quiet water…

This is the section that really got me. See, the other day a friend called me on the phone. We had been chatting online and the first thing she said when I picked up was, “Okay, how are you doing? Because from what I’m reading through your messages and statuses recently, you’re overwhelmed.” It was that obvious? Oh boy… {Start water works}

I think part of the appeal of Psalm 23 is that God knows that we need rest before we do. It’s why He instituted a Sabbath as a regular pattern in our lives. I realized in talking to my friend that I had completely abandoned the concept of the Sabbath. Admittedly, it’s hard to schedule a full day of rest recently. But I don’t even try to give myself much other downtime at all. It’s a Saturday marathon to prep two college course lectures/activities, grade any activities from said courses, then chores, then grocery shopping, then dinner, and bed. On Sunday, it’s church, family lunch, and then whatever else I didn’t get done Saturday afternoon…Laying down? Ain’t happening. Quiet waters? Um, no. Dysfunctional and completely out of line with what God calls me? Absolutely.

But we need to rest. We need times of refreshing and quiet water. So I can’t fit in a full Sabbath. The idea is actually more stress-inducing than calming. So here’s my version of a mini-Sabbath: I adore Sunday afternoon naps. PJs, under the covers, dog curled up by my feet, husband cuddlin’ with me = adore them. But lately I haven’t enjoyed them because I’ve felt guilty stopping my go-go-go and do-do-do pace. Clearly I’m not working and accomplishing something – anything – on my very long, very detailed to do list.

So, I’m giving myself permission to nap. I can’t change all of the things we have going on right now. But I will nap on Sunday afternoons. And I will love it. AND I will be okay with loving it and NOT feel guilty about it one bit. I am now allowed to nap and not worry that my laundry will not get put away at all right away on Sunday afternoons. I can enjoy my nap and not feel guilty.

I’m must be purposeful, but I’m going to let the Shepherd make me rest and be refreshed by quiet water.

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2 thoughts on “The Purposeful Quiet Water

  1. You’ve learned an important lesson at a very early age. I wish I had. But it is one of the most important things I’ve learned from being ill. Resting in Him can seem very strange after, or in the midst of, a non-stop lifestyle, but He led me through level after level of resting in Him. Learning not to feel guilty when I couldn’t do things, being willing to participate in church activities even though I might have to cancel, learning that it bothered me much more than it bothered anyone else.

    Of course, our situations are very different but the lessons are similar. Jesus is our resting place. There is an old hymn that goes “Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art. I am finding ourt the greatness of Thy loving heart.” The neat thing is that as I was learning to rest in Him, I found that I could rest in Him even when I was doing something other than what we think of as resting. Yes, He definitely calls us to a Sabbath rest, but He also calls us to find that rest in our spirit so that we can rest in His arms, under His wings in the midst of life’s turmoil.

    I pray that you find His Sabbath rest and the continuing rest that He offers us.
    Love and blessings, Grandma

  2. Imagine God smiling as you yield to His purpose (belief)
    for your rest & refreshment.

    Imagine God’s grimace as we choose
    the tyranny of the urgent (unbelief)
    increasing our cortisol & missing so much beauty.

    He wants us rested, refreshed, invigorated
    in His peaceful path. (He supplies)

    I want to be there too.

    {{* *}}

    …ok, so I find no biblical proof that God actually grimaces, but you get the point? 🙂

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