Ryan Shumway | High School Ministry Director
How do you rest? I’m talking real rest, not the 3 minutes you spend sitting in front of your desk before you turn on your computer to start your day, or the 5 minutes you spend sitting in your car before walk into the house after a long day at work. I am talking about resting in God, knowing that He has fulfilled our needs, and because of that, all we need to do is rest in Him and His presence.
Recently, I challenged our high school students of Green Student Ministry to do just that: to rest in our Heavenly Father. In Psalm 23, we see incredible imagery of God as our Shepherd who has provided for all of our needs. It leads to Him making us lie down in green pastures. This psalm is already very powerful, knowing that we are the sheep – the ones lying down – but we begin to see it in a new light when we better understand the psychology of sheep.
Now, I am nowhere near a “sheep expert” by any means. Recently, though, I have come to learn and understand that sheep are incredibly reliant on the shepherd. Sheep have no good natural defense mechanisms; they are easily susceptible to disease; they often get distracted and lost; and they are incredibly needy. I also learned that a sheep WILL NOT lie down if all of its needs have not been met. So, if a sheep is hungry, scared, sick, or injured, it simply will not lie down.
I think we are this way all too often. I think we try too hard to do it on our own and we find ourselves restless, and going, going, going all the time. We become sheep that are distracted, worrying about what we may need, and we miss out on the reality that God has already fulfilled our needs. When we lean into Him, we see that he has provided for our needs and that we can find rest in Him.
He makes us lie down in comfort: the comfort of His presence.
Rest in Him. Find some time to do this on your own and as a family. How special it is for us to model this to those around us! They can see that our lives are busy and full, but if we can talk about the rest we have found in our Savior, they may understand that their needs, too, have been met and that they can experience the restoration of the Father and find rest in His presence.