He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.
People ask why we do what we do. The answer is so simple – it is a burden bigger than us. We don’t blog simply because we have nothing to do. We don’t write out our experiences because it’s easy to write. I don’t think it’s easy to write.
If indeed it is a burden, it has to be guided by the one who has laid it on you. And if it has to be guided by Christ, then Christ has to be the center, He runs the show, you have to seek His filling.
This blog began from a place of “lying down.” Our marriage was headed south. Our first year was hard to say the least. It was in the place of lying down that the Lord showed us indeed there underneath our feet lies His green pastures.
More often than not, we really don’t like having pasture experiences. We like sheep, like to wander off from our Shepherd’s eyes, not knowing how dreadful it can be away from His presence.
So the Lord made us lie down and it was not easy. He interrupted our flow, we went through miscarriages, we hit a financial dead end, we resented each other, at some point we co-existed, our plans were thwarted, some delayed – but all the same, He was working behind the scenes.
It was until we accepted to follow our Shepherd’s guide, that we understood why He had to keep us in that place. It was until we bend down our wandering knees, assumed the posture of humility, let go of our propensity to control each other and everything around us, did we realize that we were simply in the right fold. His pastures were enough for us.
“He makes me to lie down”, implies an involuntary action. Sometimes the Lord causes us, or makes us to “lie down”. Sometimes He makes us hit our knees. Sometimes He allows trials to make us cry out to Him. Sometimes He allows our plans, our goals, or our dreams to fail so that we are made to stop, to “lie down”, to slow down, and to seek His face.
Before the Lord can “lead me beside still waters”, lead me to the place He has planned for me, or lead me to the mission He has prepared in advance for me, He sometimes chooses to make me “lie down.”
What will you do when the Lord makes you to “lie down”? Will you wallow in self-pity? Will you ask “why?” without truly seeking His will? I believe many of us “lie down” and we choose to not get back up. When the Lord makes us to “lie down” it is not always comfortable. We are not accustomed to stopping. We have agendas, we are rushing, we are doing, and we generally do not like it when our plans are messed with.
What if the Lord wants to ruin our plans in the best of ways? When He makes you to “lie down”, will you seek His face? His voice? His will? His “why”? His way?
I believe the Lord sometimes makes us to “lie down” to remind us to depend on Him. Sometimes He makes us to “lie down” to protect us. Sometimes He makes us to “lie down” so that we can stop and realize how truly blessed we are. Sometimes He makes us to “lie down” because it is the only way He can get our attention. There are many reasons He may cause us to “lie down”, but when He does, my prayer for you and for myself is that we would be quick to seek His face.
You see, the Lord doesn’t want to leave us “lying down.” He wants to “lead us beside still waters.” God calls His children to be actively led by His spirit. But before He can lead us any farther, sometimes He may cause us to stop, and “lie down.”
His word says “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing…” (Psalm 23:1). The Lord will equip you with everything you need for life’s journey and He will “refresh your soul” (Psalm 23:2).
If you are going through a desperate time, if your marriage is rocky, if life’s circumstances seem to be overwhelming, if your plans have been ruined, if your heart is so heavy you can hardly breathe…He is there. He has not left you. He will not leave you. Listen for His voice. He is inviting you on a journey. He will give you everything you need. He wants to lead you and refresh your soul.
There are blessings in the “lying down”, His pastures are enough for your marriage, and in due time, He will lead you besides quiet waters.
I do not like having pasture experiences. Most times, I want to know what lies on the other side of the mountain. I want to be free to explore what I want, how I want it. I don’t like the sanctification that marriage carries at time. But Lord, you know that it is good for me. Help my wandering heart. Help me lean on you Jesus.
When pride seems to come over me, self-conceit and self-absorption tries to down me, remind me of your everlasting service to me. That you are my Shepherd. You need me to be re-filled for the journey. You want to comfort me and shield me from the attacks of the world, you want me to listen and learn your voice.
Help me learn from any delays, disappointments, heartbreaks and pain you allow in my marriage and in me –that you are working all for my good.
In Jesus name I pray,