Rest Resistant Sheep

sheep-967316_640Thank God for old friends, right?

Old friends know you well enough to see the signs. Old friends have permission to push. Old friends can insist. You need to get away. Leave work. Our plans? There are no plans. Nothing. That’s the plan. Okay, eat, nap, laugh, stare at the lake, stare at the fire, pet the dog. Seriously, no work.

Sheep have a natural fear of rough water. This is what makes it necessary for a shepherd to create a little calm pool, to still the waters for his sheep to drink before they lie down in green pastures.

So, how does the evil one twist God’s design? He whispers to the sheep that they should fear still waters.

That’s right. He’s connived to convince an entire generation of Christians that still waters are to be feared, that they have to earn green pastures (and of course, they never quite do), and to avoid rest because we all know there’s kingdom work to be accomplished and the clock on humanity is in countdown so why in the world would we think that we could ever lie down and rest?

Rest resistant sheep. That’s the Frankenstein follower Satan’s created in his lab. Why? What’s the harm? Isn’t it good to have a flock that marches on and on and on and on?

Seriously, no.

What is good is a flock who listen to the voice of the Shepherd and obey His instructions. Shepherds stay awake. Sheep sleep. Shepherds stand guard. Sheep take long cool drinks of water. Shepherds defend. Sheep lie down in green pastures they didn’t earn but are free to enjoy because they and the pastures and the water and the sky all belong to the Shepherd.

Weary flocks wear out. Over-tired sheep wander off the trail. Fatigued lambs grow numb to the voice of the shepherd and easily confuse it with the whispers of the chief impostor.

This weekend, I remembered that the sound of wind in the trees is my favorite sleeping aid, that glowing fires are mesmerizing and soothe like a deep tissue massage, that the color green is a natural sedative, and that laughter is a healing balm.

Rest is a not the enemy. The enemy is the enemy. Rest is a gift from the good Shepherd to remind us that He holds the world together, not us.

Kathy and Bruce and usSilly sheep. Listen to your friends.


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13 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Kathy says:

    It was so great to hang out and catch up this weekend! I am always challenged by your thoughtful musings, and encouraged by your pursuit of Jesus to pursue Him more closely myself. You and Rob are both a real blessing to us. The picture, not so much 🙂

  2. Sandra Allen Lovelace says:

    Thank you for the somewhat gentle kick in the seat of my pants. No question I’m a sheep who needs rest. I’m settling in for as long as it takes. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Linda McClellan says:

    I have been running myself ragged for the past year taking care of my aunt. So I really can’t say that’s from the evil one but my aunt who I loved dearly and I am missing so much passed away this last Wednesday. Now the liar is telling me I need to do this and that, all the things that got set on the back burner. Jesus, my loving, caring shepherd is telling me to rest awhile beside the still waters. I am having a seriously large back surgery in a week, Jesus in whom I trust totally is whispering in my ear to rest and recoup. After reading your article I am now set to lay and rest and spend my time in His Word. I will be a good sheep and follow Him wherever He leads me. I love the still waters.

    • I’m so glad God timed this just this way for you, Linda. Allow yourself some time to breathe, to sleep, to give yourself the care you offered your aunt for so long. Be blessed. Receive His rest.

  4. Maxine D says:

    Oh yes, how the enemy would love to keep us from rest – not just sleeping, but rest, and resting in Him!
    Blessings
    Maxine

  5. Carla Allaire says:

    I love the 23rd Psalm. Abba leads us to the still waters to drink. He calms our souls. He prepares a banquet for us in the midst of our enemies, and we trust Him enough to focus our attention on the feast, KNOWING He has our backs. David said his cup runneth over. IF we will trust God enough when He tells us to rest, when He COMMANDS us to rest–our cups will run over, as well. God bless, Lori!

  6. Jeanne Doyon says:

    I love your thinking, Lori.
    “So, how does the evil one twist God’s design? He whispers to the sheep that they should fear still waters.”
    So true!! Oh how we need His rest–and how we fight it. Thanks for your insight.

  7. Tammy Noel Smith says:

    Thank you for the beautiful and gentle reminder to rest.I get so caught up in all the darkness consuming the world news….Ebola,Christians being attacked and killed,political unrest worldwide…..You have reminded me of something I have forgotten….I wasn’t created to worry,but to praise the LORD.There is rest in that,joy immeasurable!