I was reading John 6 today – the famous story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. One thing I’ve learned over the past few years is that nothing is mentioned in the Bible that doesn’t have meaning. Every single sentence, every single word in that book has a meaning and purpose behind it. So – when I came to verse 11, where Jesus asks the disciples to have the five thousand people sit down, followed by the sentence telling us that there was plenty of green grass – I knew that this was important. I remembered one of my favourite verses straight away – Psalm 23.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
This verse is all about rest.
Over a year ago I completed my degree in primary teaching. It was a degree I wanted nothing to do with and I was devastated that I’d not only wasted three years of my time but also 3 years worth of university fees. One Sunday I was in church, sat between my friends listening to a great message. But my mind was racing, thinking about everything that was going wrong, all of my failures. My throat was closing up, my eyes were welling up and I was struggling to breathe. I ran out of that building so fast.
That night I wrote in my journal “where are you?!”. I was so frustrated that God wasn’t showing up in my situation. I didn’t understand why I was so distressed and He was doing nothing about it.
It was only a while later when I sat down and truly rested in His presence, His word and His spirit, that peace started to settle my heart. It was only when I stopped fixating on my problems and my failures that I could take in His grace.
It’s funny how I was in the right place, surrounded by the right people and listening to the right word but my heart and mind was an absolute and complete mess.
In the scripture where Jesus fed the 5,000, He wanted them sat down on the green grass in order to feed them. This resembles Psalm 23, where God lays you down in green pastures in order to restore your soul.
Sometimes our minds and our hearts are too busy. Sometimes we’re so fixated on our own problems and worrying about ourselves, that we leave God no room to step in to provide for us. It’s like a parent trying to feed a restless toddler – mission impossible. The place where God can do His best work is when our hearts, minds and souls are at total rest. That’s when God can truly provide our every need.
Rest in Him because He is your shepherd. Let Him guide you and provide for you because with Him as your Lord, you lack nothing.