Posted by: Mad Lamb | 12/06/2012

He makes me lie down

With swollen joints and now a cold/flu coming on, I’ve been doing lots of sleeping recently. Having been really busy for the last few months with work and church activities, it feels odd to go to bed at 8 or 9pm and still get up a 6pm. Our cat must be thinking I’m taking the mickey.

The passage that comes to mind is the rather cliched 23rd Psalm. However the line about making me lie down by still waters has two quite personal meanings. Firstly I think about a grassy knoll on the hill behind my parents’ farm where a burn (small brook) ran. As children I played there with my brother but more often I sat there on my own reflecting on my rather limited world. There was a real comfort in being safe but on my own with the sound of water keeping me company.

In my often too busy life, I forget to take such breaks and just enjoy the countryside. Now living in cities or suburbia it’s harder to find a green nook I can call mine.

When in Orkney the ‘still waters’ took on another meaning. The bay, just yards from our house, came in from the North Sea. The usual state was a rough turbulent water. On a very rare occasion I noticed the bay was completely calm. It almost seemed impossible. I saw God’s hand in stilling this restless tide yet I recognised he was also in control when they were raging.

There is also a time where calmness is not always a positive thing. Another occasion when the bay was still was on Regatta Day. Here a strong breeze is more than helpful but desparately required. We watch the sails flapping gently waiting to catch a breathe to move forward in front of their competitors. Tactics here were everything.

And so I wait in my alternating raging and calmness wondering when the right time is to rest and when to be busy. Catching the wind of God’s mind is not always easy and often needs well practised tactics of prayer and listening. Hopefully I’ll be ready to run with the breeze when it comes. In the meantime I will let his rod and staff comfort me as He makes me lie down.

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