“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures.” (Psalm 23:1, 2)
When we live and work in Northern Virginia we seldom get to enjoy the “green pastures” of life. In fact, we rarely have the opportunity to “lie down” at all. Busy schedules and a steady stream of demands on our time squeeze out the down moments and many of us work around the clock until we crash and burn at night.
Today I want to remind you that God wants you to experience life at it’s fullest and that involves a balance that some have forgotten. Although God loves us to work hard and to be productive, He does not want us to do that at the expense of quiet time with Him. I am referring to an intentional time daily to sit at the feet of the Savior. To go with the Shepherd into the green pasture and lie down.
I am reminded of the story of two sisters named Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. We are told in Scripture that Jesus was friends with these sisters and their brother Lazarus. In this incident Jesus had come to their home and was welcomed by Martha who was working hard to make the visit just right. Mary chose to “sit at the Lord’s feet and listen to His teaching.” This made Martha angry at Mary and Jesus! This comes out in an outburst that would label Martha for eternity. Luke tells us that she had become “distracted”. It wasn’t that what she was doing was bad. After all, she was serving Jesus! No, this is not a story about work being a bad thing. It is a story about work being the only thing. This is a story about losing sight of the Savior while serving Him. When the work for Jesus becomes the focus instead of the Shepherd we are working for.
These moments are common in our churches today. We get so busy serving that we lose sight of who we are serving and why. It is in these moments that we need to follow Jesus into the “green pastures” and lie down…take a deep breath…and sit at the feet of the Lord and listen.
There is nothing wrong with hard work and serving the Lord. We are all called to minister in the name of Jesus, but here we are reminded that we, like Martha, can become distracted by the service and take our eyes off the Savior. We are certainly encouraged to “run the race set before us” (Hebrews 12:2) with all our hearts but, all the while keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. He is the reason we run!
So read this Psalm again. Come into the green pasture today and lie down. Remember who your Shepherd is and take a moment to sit at His feet and listen…refocus. He is the reason you are here. This is the day that He has made. He wants you to live it to the fullest.