Short Thought continued.....
‘The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil,
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’
(Psalm 23: 1-4 NIV)
Psalm 23 is full of comfort and delight in the goodness of God.
One of the Greek words for “love” is agape, which merges two words and two concepts.
Ago means “to lead like a shepherd,” and pao is a verb that means “to rest.”
Love is our Shepherd leading us to the place of true rest in his heart.
This year, I experienced God loving and leading me to a place of true rest in Him.
Recently, I collapsed and was taken by paramedics to hospital.
On the cardiac care ward, I collapsed again, this time it was clearly visible on the
monitor that my heart had stopped. I was revived and taken for emergency surgery to
have a pacemaker fitted; this now restarts my heart whenever my heart valve fails to.
In order to rest and recuperate: I needed to ‘press pause’ on life.
Pressing pause - not what I had planned –
gave me time to receive from God and others, to be released from the need to give.
It was not self-centeredness but rather receiving His care and renewing relational intimacies.
During my recovery I journalled: writing and recording my thoughts, prayers and questions.
Each morning, I would sit quietly with God.
He taught me afresh about living by grace not works; about receiving not giving;
about resting in Him; being guided by the Holy Spirit;
and about the need to fully embrace this ‘pause’ without worry.
Many times worries rose up in me and I would remember His ‘yoke is easy’.
His grace-filled life is more about receiving from God than giving to God.
The worries subsided whenever I ‘pressed pause’ on self-effort and let Him lead my days.
He’s taught me the value of daily rhythms - of exercise, of rest, of pacing,
of right eating, of establishing good sleep patterns, of listening to my body,
of noticing what fills me up and what depletes me.
Now when I feel the surge of the pacemaker adjusting my heart, I marvel,
without fear of the future, at the care and tender affections of God towards me.
I have worry, concern, uncertainty, questions;
but no fears.
This change is a grace-gift from God, part of His blessings and Love.
God, my Good Shepherd.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that even as I ‘walked through the valley of the shadow of death’,
You have taught me not to fear because your loving provision, presence and leading have comforted me.
Question: Where your life is ‘paused’, how is God leading and comforting you?