My lying down in green pastures occurred a couple of months ago. Not actually lying down but falling down. It started with not believing the weather report—a school closing ice storm that was to begin in the afternoon. So that afternoon I decided I had to run an errand. I didn’t see the ice.
But I did hear the sound of my head hitting the concrete sidewalk.
The fall landed me in the ER. The good news was no brain bleeding. The not so good news is that I had a concussion. I now have frequent headaches, neck problems, and several doctor’s appointments.
This was my forced lying down in green pastures—my opportunity to have the normal activities of life interrupted. And I’ve discovered that stress will trigger a really bad headache.
Before my fall I was stressed. I was overwhelmed with many things including launching a new website and blogging. Could I really write a meaningful blog each week? And if I did would anyone read it? These were just a few of my anxious thoughts that had set up camp in my head.
Another time in my life when I was forced to slow down was after the loss of my son ten years ago. I did the minimal in every area of life. And just doing the minimal took all of my energy. I needed to rest and focus on self-care.
Grief is hard work. My clients who have recently undergone a life-altering loss often find themselves exhausted. Emotionally it’s easy to feel paralyzed and believe that our lives are over. That’s why it is important to build in a time of rest. Lowering our expectations for ourselves.
To rest is to go against the culture that encourages us to keep going and fit more and more into the same amount of time. Yet we were not created to keep going at breakneck speed. Especially if we have recently experienced a painful trial.
Our good shepherd knows His sheep. And He knows when one of His sheep needs to lie down in green pastures.
We can fight it. We can complain. We can try to get up. Or we can accept our new normal.
In the Old Testament there were set times God called His people to rest. In the New Testament the principle of rest still holds true. God has created rest for our good.
Hopefully it won’t take falling on your head to slow down.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet water, he restores my soul (Psalm 23:12).
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