I stood there, the sea of grass rippling against my ankles, chest heaving like I was trying to suck in the entire chilled sky all at once.
I’d sprinted. I’m not a sprinter. But sometimes that’s the only way to get to a place where you can yell.
“Why is this so hard sometimes?”
“Why don’t I feel You?”
The questions flew out over the pasture without anything to bounce off of except the rabbit bouncing into the bushes, the wind waiting to carry my words away.
I gasped for air.
The wind tousled my ponytail.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He restores my soul.
Of course that’s the truth that would drift through my brain as I stood there in a horse pasture, restless legs stamping down the tall blades in the spot where I’d stopped.
“God, don’t you know all I’d like to do is rest? And be restored?”
For weeks I’d been living in the desert — literally and figuratively. When I moved there, I’d packed a mixed bag of excitement and nerves.
In return, the desert packed a punch.
The desert is a hard place to live. This I knew.
But my feet were barely sandy when His promise to just walk forward, I’ll lead you got shaken out of my pockets like lunch money by a playground bully.
The adventure was gone. Fast.
I felt like I’d been beaten up on the dry, dusty road, so like a bloody-nosed kid with cut-up knees, I ran back to the last place I remembered seeing my Father’s face.
Where things were green.
And like the walking wounded, I paced His pasture, asking Him to explain Himself. I let it all out. Questions. Indignation. Tears. Hurt. Exhaustion.
He makes me lie down.
I didn’t feel like I needed Him to “make” me.
But at the same time … I did.
I needed Him to tell me to rest, to remind me again that He wouldn’t leave. In the Valley of the Shadow of Death, though He was there, I’d lost sight of Him somehow.
The dark closed in.
For You are with me.
Even when I felt desperately alone in the dark, when the weight was crushing, He was with me.
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
It wasn’t always what I wanted. But in the moments I needed Him most, He was there, providing the exact thing I needed to get me through the night.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.
No matter where I run. Valley. Sand. Pasture.
If I make my bed in the depths, You are there.
My feet came to rest.
And as I sat down, not in the bed I’d made for myself but the one He’d made for me, He reminded me who I was.
And like a sheep, I’ll need to remember — and need reminding — again tomorrow.