Earlier this year, I was traveling a lot for work, flying from Texas to California every week with an ever-expanding group of coworkers. After every flight, people would talk about how they were able to sleep or get some rest while flying through the air in a tin can full of people. Every time I replied, “I can’t sleep on planes. I can’t fall asleep when there are people around.”
Sleeping is one of, if not the most, vulnerable positions we can take. When you’re sleeping, you’re not able to protect or defend yourself; it’s the very picture of trust. If you don’t trust your surroundings, you might wake up every hour or any time you hear a strange noise. Rest is next to impossible to achieve when you feel uncomfortable or uneasy.
I think this is probably why God made our bodies require sleep every night: we need that reminder that we are dependant upon him.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3 (ESV)
These verses have been stuck on repeat in my head the last few days. This is one of those Psalms that many of us know but rarely spend the time sitting with the profound truth of it. I know that I don’t give it near enough time to really sink into my mind and heart.
The truth contained in these verses is life-changing and freeing, yet I struggle to accept it. Instead, I want to cling to this faulty thought-process that I don’t need rest, that I am my own protector, and that I lead myself–oh foolish heart of mine!
I have to continually replace the lies that I want to believe with the truth of God’s word.
He is the one leading me who fulfills all my needs.
He makes me rest even when I don’t want to.
He always leads me with peace.
He nourishes me and comforts me.
He shows me righteousness because he is a good father and I’m his beloved daughter.
Today, I can choose to lie down instead of trying to run myself ragged. I can rest in the goodness of God instead of trying to carve out a name for myself. And I can trust his leading instead of my own.
I encourage you to spend some time today meditating on these verses. Make space in your day to ask the Lord what he’s saying to you and pray for the courage to respond appropriately to his leading. The truth is that allowing yourself to be led is a courageous decision, resting is rooted in wisdom, and choosing contentment is a sign of strength.
What do you think of Psalm 23?
What’s one practical way you can rest and allow God to lead you today?
To go Deeper: Resting Posture