Come and rest
by Chelsea Pietsch
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He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters (Psalm 23:2).
Read Psalm 23
When was the last time you had the opportunity to lie on the grass? I recall one particular picnic quite vividly. A friend was visiting from interstate, and we all had a lazy lunch, lying on a picnic blanket. The grass was soft and verdant, and the sun warmed our backs. The conversation lulled peacefully, and a few of us drifted off on the rug. What a beautiful memory this is for me – to be so relaxed, even in company, and to feel so safe and at ease that one could just drift off to sleep.
Not infrequently, my children complain about being unable to fall asleep. They are restless and want someone to lie down with them. I explain to them that Jesus is with them. He is the Good Shepherd looking after his little sheep. So even if I am not there with them, he is. They need not fear the darkness, monsters or any terrors of the night, for Jesus is with them, guarding them. Occasionally, we play a song with the words:
In the darkness God will keep me
He will stay and never sleep.
In the darkness God is brighter
Though the night is long and deep
Thank you, Father, for your goodness
You will hold me through the night¹
The psalmist reminds us that we are safe to let our guard down in the presence of Jesus. In him, we can relinquish control and even drift off to sleep. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is trustworthy and invites us to be at rest, both during the day and at night. So calm your anxious and worried minds, and rest in your surroundings. Gaze at a flower, a bird, a tree. Lie on the grass. Pay attention to any sounds. At bedtime, press your head into your pillow and feel your body weight on your mattress. Give thanks, for the Lord is with you.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, in whom we can find rest and peace. Help us let go of our worries and rest in your love and protection. Amen.
¹‘The Night Song’ by CityAlight (featuring Colin Buchanan)
Chelsea Pietsch is a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Adelaide. She is married with two children and a consultant to Lutherans for Life (www.lutheransforlife.lca.org.au).
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