I am sitting at a car dealership service department while they tuneup my wife’s car. My mind, though, wanders back to a familiar passage that I suddenly saw for the first time. Do you know what I mean by that?
The passage comes from the twenty-third chapter of Psalms. It is familiar because as a boy, I memorized it, read it aloud as a group prayer, listened to multiple speakers’ exegesis on it, and even read an entire book about it. Yet, what seems like the first time in my life, I really was drawn to one particular word.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures” is the very first part of the second verse of Psalm 23. The word “makes” caught my attention. I wanted to know immediately what Hebrew word is translated as makes or maketh. Googling a Lexicon told me about lying down and green and pastures. I wasn’t satisfied.
I thought why would he (the Lord) have to make me lie down. The next site Google suggests helped me understand and then, it made a lot of sense, especially in these uncertain and uncomfortable corona virus battles.
Justin Alfred posted in blueletterbible.org that the verb “makes” is in an imperfect tense. In other words, it is better translated rather than “makes” as “continually making.” I know that still hasn’t answered why the Lord has to continually make us but Mr. Alfred explains it this way.
“‘He continually causes me to lie down in green pastures,’” with the implication being that at times I do not have the sense to know when it is best to lie down and rest in order to be renewed and refreshed. Therefore, God, as my heavenly Father and Shepherd, ‘causes me to lie down in green pastures’ where He might renew and replenish my spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical strength.”
I am not insulted or even taken aback by Justin Alfred declaring that at times I do not have sense enough to rest. I am reminded of that reading intelligent, educated friends Facebook posts honestly articulating their anxiety about the fact that their normal chaos has been interrupted by confusion. Mine too.
The confusion stems from the realization that we had some control over the everyday chaos. We knew when the track meet ends and dinner begins. We knew when it is time to prepare for summer activities and what we were going to do. But this COVID 19 stuff has left us with little control. The old adage “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know” applies to this case.
It makes it hard to rest, to find peace. But did we really have that much under control?Were we really at peace, content? If we are honest, sometimes, for very good and important reasons, we take on more than we should? Sometimes, we “do not have the sense to know when it is best to lie down and rest in order to be renewed and refreshed.”
Please don’t misunderstand. I am not advocating that God designed this international crisis to make us rest. All good things come from God. He creates good out of the bad life can and will bring. What I’m trying to point out is that even in the darkest times, we can know that even when we cannot see it, feel it, experience it, the Lord is in control. We can find rest in that, even now with this creepy, kookie, corona virus.
When things seem totally out of control, it’s because some of it is out of our control. But rest assured, nothing is beyond the Lord’s control. He is continually guiding us to green pastures where we can find rest.
This causes me to say with Justin Alfred to those of us whose shepherd is the Lord, “What an incredibly wonderful promise of God’s care, concern, and sovereign guidance for us who are His children!”
If your feeling overwhelmed, do what has always worked for me.
““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 NIV
Categories: hopeful encouaragement
I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at Amazon.com or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.