I find myself in an odd mood – a funk, if you will – that has been hard to shake. Maybe it’s the unbearable heat and humidity down here in south Louisiana. I’m just not motivated to DO anything.
Perhaps it’s the summer doldrums: a state or period of inactivity, stagnation, or depression. It’s not that I am care free, I am just free from caring…about anything. I’m not careless, I could just care less…about anything.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Psalm 42:11ESV
It’s what my Mama used to call the “don’t wants and can’t help its.” I don’t wanna do anything, and I can’t help feeling this way.
My normal prescription is to do the next thing. Whatever must be done next, just do it, keep moving, put one foot in front of the other and keep going. No. Matter. What.
Not this time. This go ‘round, I just stopped. Leaned into this feeling. Decided to take a sabbath rest. Go with the flow. I tried not to stress too much over WHY I was feeling this way, or WHAT I should do to correct my course. I just slowed down.
The Lord seemed to be nudging me to spend time with Him. I thought that was odd, because I already do that, each day.
My heart has heard You say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.” Psalm 27:8 NLT
What He wanted was my attention. Quality time. Distraction free. God wanted me to know Him more intimately and experience His provision during this season.
Green pastures and still waters of the twenty third Psalm called to me and slowed my hurried and harried heart. Soul restoration is what I craved. But how? How will He restore my soul?
Then I saw it: He MAKES me lie down, He LEADS me beside the waters. My thoughts and breathing slowed, calming the worries of my heart. He was ever so gently MAKING me take this time of rest.
Perhaps that’s the WHY of these “don’t wants” – so that He can grab my attention and make me slow down. He’s leading me to find green pastures and still waters. The Lord wants me to stop and lean in to Him.
Suddenly, I had the don’t cares again – in a good way. I didn’t care about the why or how or what, I only wanted His presence. The Who. Jesus. I felt Jesus stirring my soul to spend time with Him. To stop and listen to Him. So I did.
I began to practice listening, more than talking, during my prayer time. Expectantly, I waited to hear from Him. Let me tell you, when Jesus takes the lead in a conversation, He doesn’t disappoint.
Ever so slowly, I began to hear Him.
Jesus became my focus.
Make no mistake, the distractions are still there, and will be as long as Satan is around. But I’m fighting them, and training my brain in new habits (don’t pick up that cell phone before you pick up the Word of God!).
What I’ve discovered in the leaning in, is this: When you quiet and still yourself, your heart calms, your mind clears, and you can focus. With heightened senses, you feel His presence, hear His voice, and the busyness of the world fades away.
What’s the pace of your life right now? Do you need to stop, and lean in to Jesus?
Father, lead us beside still waters, make us lie down in green pastures. Quiet our words so that we can hear You. Amen
Grace be with you,