Psalm 23 The beauty of rest
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads by the still waters.”
This phrase offers such a beautiful amount of peace. Even when life is so busy and stress is piled so high, that we cannot get ourselves to take time to rest, He takes the option out of our hands and He makes us rest in a peaceful place.
Take a step back, close your eyes to what may be happening all around you and take some time to think. Ask yourself: What is causing me stress today? Why do I feel overwhelmed? What do I NEED to get done today? This is where I reckon we often get lost. The clarity between what we MUST and do and what we should do is almost non existent any longer. We all have a life, we all have dreams, some of us are in school, some of us have jobs, and some of us multiple jobs, most of us have social media, and each different thing going on in life pulls on us in different ways. School has class and homework, things you cannot pass up if you desire to graduate. Jobs have tasks and projects, and if you want to continue getting paid, you have to complete those things. Even the most simple thing that everyone has -Life- pulls on you everyday. You gotta eat and drink water, you gotta breathe, you gotta get your exercise in, etc. Without these things you can only go so long before life will no longer be one of your possessions.
Let’s look at the word rest. REST: cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength. Rest is one of those things that everyone needs, but not everyone gets. One way of rest that everyone has access to rest through is sleep. The average adult between the ages of 18 and 64 needs 7-9 hours of sleep every night! I would love to be getting that much sleep every night, but being in school full time and working on top of that, I can’t say I get nearly that much. Resting gives our bodies a chance to catch up and to heal.
We often look at watching TV, or Netflix as rest. Or hopping on instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and assume that we get rested from doing so. I mean, anything can be rest if you get to sit on the couch and take your mind off the craze, right? Wrong. Studies show that one in three people that spend time on social media feel lonely, frustrated, or angry. Aside from this it really messes with your ability to interact with people on a healthy level, in person.
Rest is an intentional exercise that Brings peace to your heart, soul, and mind leaving you better off than you were before every time.
Rest looks good on you.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.”
When we are rested, even amongst our greatest enemies, we can live in victory. The more peace we carry, the less fear we will live in. He prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies. What are the things that seem to come against you? What are the things that have seemed to be out for your life? What is it that appears to be so big and scary, too big for you to conquer?
Now imagine yourself completely clothed in rest, with the King of the universe by your side. Look once again at the things that seemed to be too big for you to conquer. When we align ourselves heart, soul, mind, and body with the Holy Spirit, we will no longer run from our enemies and fears, but we will begin to run over them. God is like a lens. That’s not all he is, but when you look at life through Him and the things he’s given you, the problems of the world are no longer magnified, but the solutions that He has for the problems of the world will be that which is magnified. God is also like a shawl or a covering. When you put Him on you won’t need to protect yourself from the worlds corruption, because He’s already covering you. As a Son or Daughter of God defeating your enemies is no longer hard and exhausting, so much so that He prepares a table for you and allows you to feast in your enemies presence.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
GOODNESS: the quality of being good, in particular.
He causes goodness to follow you all the days of your life. That which follows you, the trail you leave behind you will be saturated with goodness. In your rest, and success over your enemies, the drippings of your life will be ones that others find and will desire to follow. As you get closer and closer to your true self, to the person that He has created you to be, the sweeter the fruit of your life will be and your influence on the world around you will become greater and greater. When you follow the ways of the Lord, you will begin to look more like Him and people will begin to follow you because they want what you have.
This month as you go about your life take steps to rest and to live in rest that you haven’t taken before. Allow yourself time to get back to your true self and to hear what the father has to say about you. Clothe yourself in His love and let goodness and mercy follow you everyday.