Thursday, November 20, 2014

Are You Tired?

Friend, are you tired?  
I am too.  The past two years have been exhausting for my family.  Job loss, death of my grandfather, moving, life style changes, death of a parent (my husbands mother), marital problems (from grief of a parent), a car wreck, learning difficulties (dyslexia & language delay), and in addition to all of this I still had to do my responsibility as a mom, wife and home educator.
Have you been here?  Are you here now?  You're exhausted.  In God's perfect time I attended a bible study on Psalm 23.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.  He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,  for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
 (emphasis mine)

The emphasis of the class I attended was focused on verses two and three:

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. 

I was so desperately, wanting, needing my soul to be refreshed.  I did not realize how tired I was.  God placed on my heart to begin forty days of rest and allow him to lead me beside still waters.  The idea of forty days of rest came to me from 1 Kings 19.  Elijah tells God that he is so tired that he wants to die, then he falls asleep.  God cares for him and then Elijah travels for forty days and nights.  At the end of the forty days and nights God appears to Elijah in a whisper.  

To me this looks like rest.  In that 40 days all we see is that Elijah traveled.  Nothing else happened to him.  That's what I was so desperately wanting.  Rest.

To prepare for rest I had to do somethings on my end.  God could be wanting to take us to a place of rest, but if our schedule is so busy, he cant.

How I Prepared:
I cleared my calendar of stressful things
I cleared my calendar of stressful people (to the best of my capability)
I allowed my self time to accomplish what I HAVE to do (no over booking)
I am spending time with God
I gave myself permission to rest, permission to take care of myself.
I meditated on the 23rd Psalm.  

Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.  - James 4:8

I do feel like God has taken me to a place of rest, this is day 12 of day 40.  
If you are searching for rest and you are tired, my suggestion is to start with Psalm 23.  
Say it over and over, meditate on Gods word day and night.  
God refreshes your soul.  
Meet him there

If you are interested in further reading you may like:
The Shepard Psalm - William Evans
The Practice of the Presence of God - Brother Lawrence
Finding Spiritual White Space - Bonnie Gray
I would like to state that while I find the Shepard Psalm to be a very good book, the story that countless pastors use about a Shepard breaking a sheep's leg himself to then care for the sheep.  To the best of my research, this is a Christian urban legend.  And its not a picture of God that we get from the bible.   The God of the bible allows us to be tested, and then he cares for us.  Although he is allowing the pain, he is not causing it.   I understand trying to tie it to "He makes me lie down"  but he dose not break our legs, and to the best of my research, no Shepard has either.  Especially not a GOOD SHEPARD. 

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