I choose Restoration.
"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul (Psalm 23:1-3)."
For most of my adult life I have wrongly equated being busy with being productive. I am guilty as charged when it comes to living each day in overdrive. The result has been exhaustion, burnout, and watered down living. The psalmist is aware of the needs of busy sheep.
He says the shepherd makes me lie down in green pastures. I think this part is puzzling. It doesn’t say, “He helps you lie down” or “He suggests that lying down in green pastures would be a good idea if you could find time.” Clearly it says: the Lord makes you lie down.
You may be thinking a good nap in green pastures would be nice if there were any around to lay in. Maybe your green pastures are only green from God’s perspective because of the good they could produce. Maybe your green pasture is a hospital bed. Maybe your green pasture is a penetrating loneliness or a painful relationship. Maybe it’s a persistent financial need and God has made you lie down in that green pasture. That’s the crisis of soul restoration.
You can’t miss the fact that in the gospels, Jesus repeatedly got alone. There were times when He said, “Sorry. Not today.” He left a group of people on the shore. He walked away from a crowd standing in a field. He removed Himself from the disciples. He woke up before daylight and went to a solitary place to pray. And if Jesus—God, the very Son of God—could not live on this earth without walking beside still waters, without lying down in green pastures, then how arrogant of us to think that we can get by without doing the same.
I am chosen by God and I choose restoration. Heavenly Father, forgive me for the arrogance that keeps me on the run, trying to prove my worth. Teach me how to rest in You, Lord. Help me learn how to say “no” to those things that keep me from sitting at Your feet. Give me a hunger and thirst for You that can only be satisfied by time alone with You.