The Psalmist sure does use interesting wording in verse two. Notice, he doesn't say that the Lord "allows" or "permits" or "urges" him to lie down. Nope, He "makes" him. Sounds about right, doesn't it? When was the last time you voluntarily took some rest for yourself?
Let's face it, we're always on the run, and this time of the year, everything revs up to an even more alarming speed. So much to do. So many things on the to-do list. Too many obligations. Way too much stress. Who has time to stop and take a rest? Obviously, we don't think we do, so that's why God has to be the responsible shepherd and "make" us lie down.
No more excuses. No way out. Sometimes, we get to the place where we've run ourselves so ragged that the Lord steps in and says, "Enough of that, child. Be still for a little while." And notice, it's not a request but a command. Often, it's enforced with sickness or circumstances that leave us no other option but to rest. And, of course, our response is to complain. We stress about the things that are not getting done. We wonder if we'll be better in time for all of our upcoming appointments. And we fuss with God for His poor planning and timing.
If we would only realize that God is not being cruel. He is showing how much He cares for us--too much to allow us to run ourselves to death. He knows that we won't stop and rest on our own, so He sees to it that we have no choice but to gain the rest of which our bodies are depleted. He loves us enough to chance our anger and scorn by giving us what we need instead of what we want. Just as a parent sends the sleepy child off to bed, God is looking out for our welfare. He knows what is best for us and just how much we can bear.
Dear friends, I know it is a hectic season, and I realize the many obligations you are probably facing. But I urge you to take some time to rest before the Shepherd forces it upon you. You'll be glad you did, and you'll likely be able to get so much more accomplished once your body is renewed and refreshed.
Find some green pastures today, and settle in for a little nap. (Hehehe, I just realized that the music playing in the background is "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas." Coincidence? I think not.) Sleep. Dream. Rest. Smile. It's all good!