The words to one of my favorite Psalms go like this:
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters…” ~ Psalm 23:2
I yearn for that kind of peaceful existence. To rest in green grass and listen to a gentle stream and just walk and talk with God. Instead, most of my days look like most of yours. At least 8-9 hours of work and I am exhausted from the day. I come home to make supper, look around the house and sigh because crunched up leaves litter the floor, dishes clutter the sink, junk mail gathers on the counter, and clothes overflow the hamper. Meanwhile, thoughts of all the paperwork I brought home haunt me with things I “should be” doing. And then, I look at the calendar. We are busy almost every night this week!
I hope I don’t sound whiny or ungrateful. I simply hope that honesty resonates with some of you. I know that I am blessed to have a full life and a wonderful husband who sees the dishes in the sink and jumps in to help every day. I also know women out there who have so many more hats to wear than I do. Truly Wonder Women.
But my question is this: If we are blessed because we have so much stuff in our lives, why are most of us so stressed out? And if God has blessed me so much, why does He often feel so far away?
I follow Proverbs 31 Ministries on Facebook and Lysa TerKuerst recently wrote something on this very topic that really spoke to me. She said,
“When a person lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, they’ll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.”
An underwhelmed soul. That’s the name for it. It really should jolt us wide awake that we live such amazing, abundant lives, overflowing with blessings straight from the God of the Universe and yet, our souls are underwhelmed. Unimpressed even? Unimpressed with God!? This really disturbs me. And, I’m sure it breaks His heart.
Honestly, for years, I have been trying to figure out what to do about it. And the answer keeps coming in a command God gives us numerous times in His Word.
“Be still before The Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret…” Psalm 37:7
“Be still and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10
Be still. We were created to be still and be quiet with God. I think about all the times God has felt truly near to me. What was the common denominator? I was not rushing. I was not moving. I was not checking things off an endless list. I was not even talking. I was being still before Him. The end result? I was in awe and overwhelmed at what He was showing me.
But, if my life is so busy, how can I find the time to sit and be quiet with God?Jesus once told a busy Martha that her sister, Mary, chose what was better when she sat at His feet instead of serving (Mark 10: 38-42). Mary knew that serving Jesus was important but being still and listening to Him was better. And from the time she spent being still, she’d have the wisdom, strength, grace, and peace to love and serve as she was called to do without getting burnt out. We can’t be effective for God if we’re running on empty ourselves. We need to take the time to fill up.
The next verse (3) of my beloved Psalm 23 begins, “He restores my soul.” Is your soul in need of restoration? Decide which activities and jobs can wait, say no if you really can’t, and pray about what God has planned for your day. Take the time to be still with Him. Allow Him to give you peace and rest.
“My soul finds rest in God alone: my salvation comes from Him.” ~Psalm 62:1