Psalm 23:2-3 God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows; you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
When I read that verse I can’t help but remember a year in Montana when I was working on a big ranch. In the summer they move the cattle into the mountains to graze. In fall they all have to be collected from every place they are grazing and driven down to the lower meadows. There they will graze until harsh winter snows fall and then there will be baled hay for them to eat until spring returns.
It was fall which comes early to Montana, up on the Canadian border. I had gone with two of the ranch dogs to look for the last of the stray cattle high up against the government land fence. I had collected a few cows, calves and two stray horses and was heading them all back toward the ranch. I had stopped in a lovely meadow for lunch while the cattle kept going along the well-traveled trail through the trees. They knew the routine and would continue on their own to the lower meadows so I’d catch up to them after lunch.
I lay on the warm grass with my head on my rolled up jacket for a pillow and looked up at the sky. I thought of that scripture about the Lord making me lie down in green pastures to restore my soul. I had ridden by a slow moving stream during my journey so I could totally relate. When I rose up to finish my day the Lord would show me the right direction to go to pick up the cattle and take them down to the ranch. It was my first ride up into this part of the ranch which was vast so I needed the Lord’s wisdom in picking the right trail.
“It is in these wonderful times in life that God teaches us about His love, mercy and grace. I call these seasons “It’s all about God” seasons. In these times, it seems that if I make any great efforts like trying to work hard, pray long or study diligently, that kind of messes it up. I know these are times that I am supposed to learn how to rest in God and how to trust Him with my entire life, but it almost feels as though God is sanctioning ‘lazy’.” (Quote)
Now years later I am on my prisoner of hope journey with God and I am finding that there are different positions He puts us in to fulfill His work in us. In Ephesians, Paul depicts three distinct seasons in our lives. He uses the postures of sitting, walking and standing to metaphorically represent these seasons. I quote Kris Vallotton in this blog from his book Spirit Wars and he says, “It is all about God Seasons.”
“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called” Ephesians 4: 1
“Walking seasons are marked by our initiatives to co-labor with God’s divine purposes, to extend the borders of the Kingdom into the lives of others. As the winds of change blow over our lives, the elements inspire different attributes of God to emerge from our person hood. The time to sit resting in His grace has passed, and now it is time for His power to flow through our efforts as we walk out His high call in our lives. When we understand the spiritual seasons of our lives, then we can raise our sails and let His wind drive us to the shores of destiny. But when we are seated when we should be walking, it undermines His ways and derails His purposes.” (Quote)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Ephesians 6: 10– 13
There are times when we sit and rest, times when we walk in the direction He points us and times when we stand and fight for what He has given us. So I find I am spending time resting on the Lord and learning of His love and mercy. Then at other times I’m walking toward the promise in a different way on a road less travelled and last there are times when I have to stand and hold the ground I’ve gained and fight for more. That is another story, another blog.