Sow & Gather

rest

Can you Count the Sheep? - Finding Peace

PeaceMarci AnthonyComment
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture Psalm #sowandgather

Know that the Lord is God, it is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3 (NIV)

Do you ever have problems sleeping? If you’re like me, you dread going to sleep. It’s not that I’m not exhausted by the day’s hectic schedule; it’s that when I try to fall asleep it seems to take me forever. I lie in bed while random thoughts swirl through my head. Most nights I try to stay up as long as possible so that I’m so tired that I just fall into bed. But, what usually happens is that I fall asleep on a chair or couch and end up waking up at some random hour with a huge pain in my back or neck.  

Sometimes I try to go to bed earlier so that in theory I will get more sleep, but that normally backfires and I wake up at 3:00 AM wide awake. What happened to the days when I couldn’t wait to fall asleep and I would rest peacefully and soundly until 9 or 10 AM the next morning? Now I’m lucky if I get 6 hours of sleep a night.  

The main problem that I have when trying to go to sleep is quieting the random thoughts that go through my head. I wish I could say that these thoughts were positive, but usually nighttime is when the negative, restless thoughts wander in circles like vultures above my head.  

The other day I was talking with my mom on the phone about my lack of sleep and she suggested I try counting sheep. I paused on the line and then replied sarcastically, “Mom, I’m not 10 years old.” She laughed and said, “No, what I mean is get out your Bible before bed and start looking at all the times where sheep are mentioned.” My mom always has an underlying message in her meaning so I asked her to elaborate. 

The word sheep is found over 500 times in the Bible, so counting them would make you rather exhausted, it’s true. But the real reason to dwell on the word sheep is to remind us that we are all sheep.  God is our Shepherd. We don’t have to worry or obsess over life’s problems because He is our guide.  Psalm 100:3 says, “Know that the Lord is God.” If we recognize that God is Lord of all and is in control, we have no reason to fear sleep or anything else. The next part of the verse says, “It is he who made us, we are his, we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Four times God puts his mark on us in this verse, “He made us, we are His, we are His people, and we are His sheep.” God has branded us as His sheep.  The next time you have trouble with sleep, remember to open your Bible and count the sheep!

Dig Deeper |

Luke 12:32; Psalm 23

Action Item |

If you have trouble sleeping, try reciting a verse that brings comfort before bed.  Next, offer that verse as a prayer to God and as you pray take some deep breaths and allow calm and relaxation to take over.    

Prayer |

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for watching over me while I sleep. You are the great Shepherd.  Remove any worries and insecurities that may enter my thoughts during the night and allow me to rest peacefully.

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Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.

Resting in the Lord Is a type of Harvest

harvestMarci Anthony2 Comments

Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest: even during the plowing season and harvest, you must rest. Exodus 34:21 NIV

Sunday is one of my favorite days of the week. Sure I enjoy Friday or even Saturday with all the activity, but Sunday is the best!

And, like most people, I have a Sunday routine. I arise later than normal to drink coffee with a special aromatic creamer as I hastily get dressed. After dressing, my family and I jump into the car and dash off to church. We arrive to participate in Bible study with our small group of friends and stroll to Sunday service conversing. During the service I am privileged to worship my sweet Jesus, listen to His profound, inspiring words and be encouraged by my friends sitting around me. After the service we enjoy lunch with friends at a tasty restaurant and share our lives together.

After meeting with Jesus and talking with friends, we come home. My final activity for the day is to hop onto the comfy sofa and take a long-awaited nap. Ahhhh… It’s just wonderful. It is truly incredible to rest.

However, on Sunday I am not only participating in physical rest during that long-awaited nap, but I am also able to rest mentally and spiritually at the Bible study and during the service. I soak in God’s word and communicate intimately with Him during worship. I am filled by Him; therefore, I feel more at peace and at rest. I worship Him through music and prayer. I am encouraged by my brothers and sisters in Christ, and in turn, I try to be an encouragement to others.

The verse in Exodus requires that we rest. It is a command to work on six days and on the seventh, rest. Even during the busiest or most active time of the year, plowing and harvest, or for us, the fall school activities and the upcoming holidays, we are commanded to rest. Just as God rested on the seventh day after creating all things, He wants us to rest too.

So, come and rest.

Dig Deeper |

Genesis 2:2-3, Matthew 11:28-30

Action Item |

In what ways do you rest? On what day of the week do you have a routine of resting? Are you resting not only physically but mentally and spiritually? Practice resting this week.

Prayer |

 Dear God, Thank you for being an example of rest and for commanding us to rest. Help me to rest every week. I know by resting, I am rejuvenated and refilled by Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Join Us |

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.