Lessons from the Pasture

I wouldn’t have normally called myself an impatient person.

That was until I had a medical scare.

And then I discovered that I only possess about a penny size worth of patience.

From the day I got the phone call to the agonising moments where I sat in my consultant’s waiting room, I spent a lot of precious time sifting through countless what-ifs. I was addicted to the ‘need to know’. To the want to figure it all out. To have all the answers to my hundreds of questions whirling around in my head. Isn’t it just a fact of life that we won’t always have all the answers? Yet God invites us to reach towards His outstretched hand and to dare to take hold.

You may be like me in that you are addicted to certainty in life. We are obsessed with security. With safety. And the fear of lack, the fear of wanting, the fear of needing can, at times, be all consuming that it leaves us feeling powerless.

The moment I realised I have zero control over my own life was one of the most liberating moments I can remember. When I let Father God, the Good Shepherd, take me by the hand and lay me down to be still. If God had a soundtrack, I am convinced Frozen’s “Let it Go” would be the top track!

Let it go Rachel. Rest, I’ve got this one. You just be still and lie down. Let Me be God.

Here’s what I learned in my ‘pasture’ when we lie down and let God.

One. Fear punches well above its weight. A lot of the things I worried about were empty shells, yet they had a remarkable hold of my peace. The hours I spent fretting about something that never came to pass – that is precious time I will never get back! If that doesn’t get you angry at the enemy, I don’t know what will. The truth is, worry casts a shadow that makes our fears look bigger than they really are. I’m determined to not give them the light of day.

Two. God is in the process. I often wrestle with God over this one, but the last few months, especially, have been a major learning curve for me. Whether we understand the whys or why nots are irrelevant. No matter how much I wanted God to remove my situation from me, I discovered that there are times in our lives where God wants to walk us through the process because it’s in our best interest. It is through that crushing and pressing process, like olives being crushed to make a lovely oil, that we are refined. The more refined we are as people; the greater impact we will have on the world around us.

Three. Gentleness is a largely underrated yet vitally important part of God’s character. I have never known the gentleness of the Father quite like the kind I have experienced over the past few months. Had I not walked through this season in my life, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience the tender ways of my Father. Sometimes it came through an encouraging text message from a friend before an appointment. Other times it was through a worship playlist on my morning commute. But the times when it really got me (like the kind of moments where it really hits you deep down to your core) were the moments when I was at the end of myself questioning God’s goodness; and yet He kept reminding me, over and over again, that I was worth it. That I was enough.

Friend, I don’t know what valley you are walking through right now. But maybe it’s time to lie down and let the Good Shepherd take it from here. Take it from the control freak herself – the art of letting go is a frustratingly painful process. But it’s in that release where we discover who our Father really is.

A gentle, adoring Father who knows all your worries, anxieties and endless ticks on your exhaustive life ‘to-do’ list.

Grab a seat, friend. Pull up a chair. Lie down on your comfiest sofa. But sit back and see what your Dad can do.

Rachel Moreland