I was looking at a picture I had taken one evening this past summer of a field close to home and recalled the peace and stillness in that particular moment.
In fact, on the day of the picture I spent several minutes simply staring into the field and thinking of the passage in Psalm Twenty Three, He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters. My heart and mind had entered a place of solitude.
The uncertainty introduced by a global pandemic, civil unrest, and the deep division among the American people because of two widely separated value systems, was distanced and at the moment I was genuinely recharged.
Earlier that day I was stressed and concerned by the world’s circumstances. I hadn’t been searching for a quiet place, but it seemed to appear unexpectedly just gazing into a field. There was a sense of safety and calm, with stress, fear, and worry suddenly diminished.
I wonder how often God gently whispers for us to come away with him for a rest period to refuel mentally, emotionally, and physically, but we scurry past his invitation and miss the opportunity?
You need to remember one of God’s titles to reveal his character to you is the Good Shepherd. In his shepherding role, his flawless discernment is aware of your every need.
If you require rest to attain genuine renewal and He whispers for you to come and rest, but ignore or refuse His subtle offers, this Scriptural passage indicates He, as the good Shepherd, the good Father, will make you lie down in green pastures.
Why? Is He indifferent to your desires, choices, and preferences, or unaware of your perceived dangers? Of course not, it is because He loves and cares about you more than you will ever know this side of heaven. He knows there is nothing his grace cannot supply you with, and those times He calls you to be still and enjoy the green pastures are to remind you of His all-sufficient grace for you.
I’ve read that sheep will only lie down and truly rest if they feel certain there are no predators or pests nearby. They need to have sufficient food, enough room so they are not overcrowded, and they have to know the shepherd is in close proximity.
Perhaps this explains why a shepherd would seek this kind of environment for his flock. Once it is found, the shepherd would then actually make his sheep lie down and rest.
You have limitations, we all do. Sometimes circumstances are within your realm of control and other times not, but regardless you must refuel at some point. You may discover how amazing a little time gazing at a field might restore your soul.
You may discover the little time, the little window to rest wasn’t of your choosing necessarily, but instead, you may have been directed into a pasture where your shepherd caused you to lie down and rest.
Let’s recap and look at the Good Shepherds all-sufficient grace for you:
1. Sheep will only genuinely rest when there is no danger of predators:
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. – John 14:27
2. Sheep will only genuinely rest when there is enough food:
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. – John 6:35
3. Sheep will only rest when there is sufficient space and no overcrowding:
There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. – John 14:2
4. Sheep will only rest when the shepherd is in close proximity:
The Shepherd’s Incredible Invitation
Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’ – Matthew 11:28-30
There is a call to stillness. The call to the fields of God the Father. There is where you will find rest for our souls, there is where you are renewed to face the things you otherwise could not without God.