Written by Melody Ackerman
When my son was about three years old, he was being babysat by a friend of mine who was not having a good day. She had a house full of kids and her patience was running thin. After lunch she made an announcement that the younger kids would need to take a nap. My son with one hand on his hip and the other pointing a finger up at her emphatically replied, “No Jolie, YOU need a nap!”
Do you ever feel like that as a parent? Do you wish you had someone who would send you to your room, give you a time out, or tell everyone they need to go home because you can’t play anymore? Here’s some great news. We do!
I have been obsessed, for a lack of a better word, with Psalms 23. Many of us learned this passage when we were in Sunday school. However, there is so much packed into these verses that most of us read right over it because it is so familiar.
I think my obsession stems from the desire and longing I have to lie down in green pastures and walk by still waters. To have a refreshed soul in the midst of all the crazy. Does anyone else feel this way?
I’ve had those moments in real life and there is nothing quite like it. To be lying on your back in a field of lush green grass looking up at the bright blue sky. Wondering if you reached out your hand could you actually touch it? Feeling the afternoon breeze tickle your skin, smelling the earth beneath you, and hearing nature call out to you, as if by name.
Waking up while the morning fog is lingering so low over a still body of water. It actually looks like steam is coming out of the lake. Hearing a fish jump in the distance and watching the significant amount of ripples take off until you can’t count the amount of rings it made.
This Psalm was written by David who knew what it was like to be hated, hunted, and hiding in order to save his life. Yet, he writes that with the Lord as his shepherd, he has everything he needs. David’s peace didn’t come from circumstances but who he knew his Shepherd to be.
Parenting is hard. Marriage is hard. Relationships are hard. Covid is hard. Let’s face it, life is hard! In the midst of all the hard it’s very difficult to find peace. We can find ourselves spinning our wheels trying to make things better, wishing we were in different circumstances, or wondering what could have been. I’ve most certainly been there and done that, more times than I want to admit but it never helps my outlook or changes my circumstances.
Friends, our good Shepherd never intended our lives to be this full of crazy. However, we live in a broken and fallen world, a long way from Eden. The good news is that we can still find peace in the midst of crazy by finding it in Him.
If you find yourself completely exhausted, raw, and needing a time out, try something different. Begin by saying those words that David said, “Lord, YOU are my Shepherd and in YOU I have everything I need. YOU make me lie down in green pastures. YOU lead me by still waters. YOU refresh my soul.” Say it over and over until you begin to believe the truth that those words hold.
Will your circumstances change? Probably not.
Will the crazy get any less? I doubt it.
Will anything get any easier? Just your trust in a Shepherd who only wants peace for you in the midst of the crazy.
Now, Let “the peace that surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6